So this is where I started the journey for my first place out of Australia on my travel adventure in 2008. It was the only place I went to where I had somewhere planned to stay before I got there and the only reason that was like that was because I went to go stay at the orphanage that i stayed at in 2006-7 for a mission trip, and I figured something along the lines of that i should let them know I’m coming and not just come with out letting them know I was wanting a place to stay. The orphanage is called Sovana Poom and is situated just next to the capital city Phnom Penh, over the other side of the Tonle Sap river which is connected the the Mekong river.
The entrance to Phnom Penh was met with a lot of people out the front of the airport and some taxi drivers, I got a pre paid taxi and it cost $9 US at the time I was there in 2008, I attempted to guide the taxi driver to the best of my memory to the place where I knew there’d be a ferry to take me across the Tonle Sap river, but at first i directed the driver to far down the river and he seemed like he wanted me to get to where i could go so he could keep working and i got the impression he didnt want to keep driving around trying to find my destination for much longer. We did get there to the ferry, once i realised where i was, it was fine.
I dont remember much if anything about my first day at the orphanage it was so long ago and i didnt write down any diary logs about it either, but I do remember many things about the time there.
Day to day life was revolved around food and work, the kids did school work where as the older boys did work around the property. I got to help out doing some brick laying at some point but they made me aware that i wasn’t as good at that as they’d like me to be, which I didnt see what I was doing that was wrong in a major sense compared to what the boys were doing except they were a lot faster and i may not of been as accurate with the amount of cement that was meant to be put on.
I did try and leave the orphanage and stay in the city after several days of being there, it was hard and boring, I didnt do to much. Without other people with you, its really not that interesting going around a big dirty city, it seems like a good idea at first but you really need people with you to enjoy such a place and have someone to talk to about your experiences.
I ventured out one night and bought some food from a guy cooking food on a cart out the front of his shop front, it was raining heavily and i was hungry and I stared at this cart for some time thinking about whether i wanted to eat there, and as I was staring i noticed water go from the roof into the bowl of meat, which at the time I didnt even register that I saw it and think that I should avoid this place. So I asked him if he had beef, and he replied back “Eel” as in the slimy slithery creature in the water, but i eventually got across to him that i wanted beef and he understood.
This decision to eat there was NOT a good decision, first off he put chillies in it which in general isnt bad but I had a intolerance to chilli’s at the time, not because they were to spicy but because they were chillies. The meal was cheap, very cheap, equivalent to about 50 cents US, it tasted good to, I cant say anything bad about the taste, well the next day that was the problem. I made my way back to the orphanage to stay instead of being in the city on my own,