On the road again

Phnom Penh to Bangkok

I left Phnom Penh on the 6th of September to fly to Bangkok before starting my huge journey.
Many of my students and the Center Kids surprised me and brought me to the airport. I was so grateful to them for seeing me off and being with me until my very last minute in Cambodia. After a lengthy goodbye I had to hurry to get through security and to boarding and didn’t even have time to stop and realize that I was about to leave the country that had become my home for the past year. It wasn’t too big of a problem and neither was saying goodbye, because I was and still am sure, that I’ll be back to Cambodia in no time. Knowing that I’ll come back made leaving a lot easier.

Upon arrival in Bangkok I took a cab to town and checked into the hotel my mother had booked for me. After the flight I was so happy to arrive and just fell on the bed and ordered some room service.

The next morning I set out to explore Bangkok and then ended up visiting two really interesting pagodas and a bunch of jewelry shops and tailors, where my (female) TukTuk driver had convinced me to go. After a year of living in Asia I usually didn’t go along with offers like this, however my driver told me she got free fuel at every station we made and she only wanted me to pay 20 baht for the whole tour which was about two hours long – so I visited every single shop and pretended to a) have the money to buy some fancy jewelry and b) to be really interested but never quite sure about the investment. After collecting a bunch of cards, sneaking pictures of the rings and inquiring about rubies, emeralds and lapislazuli I was finally finished with the tour. Then I took the water taxi – more like a water bus actually, a rather big boat going up and down many of the Bangkok canals for 10 baht, to the Siam Square. There I wanted to visit some of Bangkoks biggest malls and make contact with the western culture again. A huge chunk of my time was spent just aimlessly wandering around one of the malls and looking around. I was so overwhelmed by the building, the amount of people and shops and couldn’t really bring myself to do anything besides buying food and later leaving for my hotel again.

The day after I had originally planned to do some sightseeing, but I wasn’t feeling well and suddenly had no interest in Bangkok at all. The city was weird for me; on one side it constantly reminded me of Phnom Penh and Cambodia on the other hand it was the complete opposite. It was so much more developed, the language new to me, the people treated me different, the food was spicier and there were so many western aspects that confused me. I felt lost and helpless and just wanted to go home to Cambodia. Instead I set out to find a post office to send some of my stuff to Germany. Before making my way to the office I had already wrote down the address of an nearby office and showed it to the cab driver, it shouldn’t have been more than 5 minutes from my hotel, however after driving for about 15 minutes I was convinced the driver had no idea – nothing that was completely new to me, but still different because this time the driver didn’t understand a single word I said. One and a half hour later I ended up in front of one of the biggest post offices in Bangkok and a few kilometers away from my hotel. The rest of the day was once again spent in the mall, skyping with friends and family in Germany and packing my package.

On the 10th i didnt do much before my flight other than enjoying the rooftop pool and getting ready for New Zealand. At 19.50 I finally boarded my plane to Christchurch and said goodbye to Asia for the next few months.