15 August, 2010

To Wat Opot Children's Community...

Once I got to Phnom Penh, I followed my instructions to take a cab to the Golden Gate Hotel. Once there, all I wanted to do was take a shower! After that I ventured out and found an internet cafe so mom would know I arrived safe and sound. While at the internet cafe, there was a downpour. Not just rain, but seemingly endless buckets of water falling from the sky. Enough so that just sticking your head in it would drench you. I waited and waited, bored with the internet at that point. It let up a little so I ventured out under the awning. A tuk tuk (motorcycle with a seated cart behind it) driver motioned to me so I dashed across the street and dove into my waiting ride. The cart was well prepared for the rainy season with plastic shields all pulled down to keep the passenger dry inside.

He drove me the couple of blocks to my hotel (for $1) and I rushed inside. By then it was around 7pm and I was starving and exausted. I went into the restaurant and ordered the only vegetarian thing on the menu (vegetables with cashews and rice). I must have looked like death because the waiter asked me if I would like it brought up to my room! I gladly accepted and 10 minutes I was $2.50 poorer but had a steaming pile of goodness in front of me. After eating, I showered again and turned on the TV, but couldn’t even watch it because I was going cross-eyed with lack of sleep. All tucked in, I slept completely undisturbed for 10 hours!

Rising the next morning, I went down to breakfast where I met a nice girl who was leaving the city the next day to head back to the states. She had been in Phnom Penh for a few months on an internship with her university. After eating the only vege thing on the menu for breakfast (veggies, tofu and rice) and some coffee, I walked down to the corner where I was instructed to find Tamap, a tuk tuk driver who will take me to Wat Opot (an hour and half drive). Tuk tuk’s are everwhere and as soon as you take a step out of a hotel, restaurant or anywhere, you hear voices saying “Miss, need a ride?"

I politely said no as I walked to the corner. No large sized driver was seen, so I asked another tuk tuk driver if he knew where Tamap was. He said he didn’t know Tamap, but HE could take me anywhere. I declined and walked across the street and asked another. This guy said Tamap was somewhere and would be back for 3 days. With a questioning look, I said, Hmmmmm...OK. and I proceeded to the next guy. When this guy also said Tamap was at the same place and after counting on his fingers held up 3 and said that was when he would be back, I had my 2nd opinion and realized Tamap was not here. This guy then said that he would take me to Wat Opot for $15, which is the price Wayne said I would have to pay. I told him to pick me up at my hotel at 10am.

At 9:50 there he was waiting for me so me and my backpacks hopped in and we were off!

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