Friday, January 18, 2013

Parents in Phnom Penh!

Crossing the border into Cambodia, it was clear that we were in another country. When our bus stopped for a break, it was greeted by a throng of children, barefoot and dirty, grabbing our arms and pleading for money as we tried to get off the bus. Hard to reconcile. The roads were quieter too, I think possibly because fewer people can afford cars.

We got to Phnom Penh in the afternoon with hours to spare before my parents flight landed, so we had time to walk around and get our bearings and pick up some fruit to share with them. Phnom Penh is not the metropolis I expected to find after the drive from the border. It's fancy stores and shiny towers belie the dusty poverty just beyond the city borders. But there is grittiness in the city too. But the overwhelming impression I had, right away, was the friendliness of the Cambodian people. So warm and open, and they love to laugh!

We went to the airport later that night to meet my parents, and there were long hugs and happy tears all around. They were here! They had just flown halfway around the world and they were here! I was so happy to see them. We chattered the whole ride back.

The next day we feasted on some fruit and then hit the pavement, walking all over the city, through the busy city streets and up to the Central Market. It was refreshing to see things through their eyes, and realize what things I've grown accustomed to. We walked through the market, haggling and bargaining, sat by the river, got some massages at Seeing Hands, walked around Wat Phnom, and then back to the Night Market, snacking on street food, topping the day off with a tuk-tuk ride home. Mark and I were exhausted! But they had energy and exuberance to spare. Goodness, they're going to run us ragged!

1 comment:

  1. Yay!
    Love the dudes laying down on their motorbikes - awesome.