Chuck Hillig's Travel Blog

Well, I'm going to be doing a lot of traveling over the next 6-7 months so I thought that I'd better re-activate my travel blog. The last time I posted anything here was way back in 2006 when I was traveling through SE Asia. Feel free to read my entries back then about my earlier adventures through India,Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines and Hong Kong. This time (at least for the next six weeks), I'll be traveling through Greece and Turkey.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Phnom Penh...again

I left Siem Reap on Monday and took a bus down to Phnom Penh. I had decided against taking the boat down the Mekong because I felt that I'd see more of Cambodia from the window of the bus than I would from a boat in the middle of the lake. We drove for miles through dry, open fields that were criss-crossed with small birms waiting to catch the water from the monsoon rains at the end of the year. I was told that they get at least two full rice crops out of the fields every year. Along the way, we passed thousands of unpainted shacks that lined the road between small non-descript towns. Lots of people just hanging around the houses and, of course, lots of young kids playing games with whatever they could find.
In Phnom Penh, I checked into the same hotel that I was at seven weeks ago and took some time to walk for a while along the riverfront. There were several groups of about eight men who were playing an interesting variation of kickball. They were kicking around some kind of weighted ball that had been wrapped in a plastic sleeve about 10 inches long. The men would stand in a circle about thirty feet in diameter and kick the ball to the guy across the circle. They would use their elbows, knees and, most amazingly, would often bend one of their legs at the knee and, without looking behind them, kick the ball back across the circle. Very impressive and, quite understandably, these groups had a large audiences.
For the first time since I had left California, I had begun to feel a bit sick and figured that it must have been the strange soup that I had shared with that wedding party in Siem Reap on Sunday. After first trying (unsuccessfully) the Auruvedic medication that I had brought from India, I finally relented and took some Immodium. Unfortunately, however, that didn't work either. I knew that it could be a rough trip on the flight Wednesday down to Kuala Lumpur to meet Gino Yu, an academic involved in digital entertainment from Hong Kong. Gino is attending a conference in KL with a colleague, Cedrick Chan (who is also a blogger and had generously invited me to share his hotel room while I was in town. He had come across a copy of "Enlightenment for Beginners" in Ojai while recently attending a Krishnamurti conference and and sent me an email about a month ago. When we discovered that we would be, more or less, in the same neighborhood about the same time, he made the kind offer to get together in Kuala Lumpur. More later...


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