Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Sunday in Phnom Penh

Today after a mango breakfast, took a visit to the national museum. I had seen the old pots and Buddhas before and so the trip was really to go and see a photo exhibition that opened yesterday. The exhibition was of famous people (like Michael Caine) who the photographer had captured at close range. Apparently his thing is “controlling the subject”. Very good portraits but can’t remember the name... oh well. I also acted like a crazy English woman by buying some fish food from a vendor and feeding the fish that "live" in the ponds in the centre of the museum!

The plan was then to go to Wat Phnom (picture on left - the wat (temple) is the white spire)which is on the highest hill in Phnom Penh. That said it is very much to my liking because as hills go you would barely notice it. Its kind of a hang out area for Cambodians with tourists staggering up the hill in the heat and there is an elephant called Sambo who walks around the foot of the mound giving rides with monkeys being chased away. “Friends” is a project that teaches street children a skill and the shop is on the way from the museum to Wat Phnom. A visit revealed lots of great stuff to buy so I’ll be returning there. There were children’s fairytale books there as well. One I glanced through had two pages devoted to two boys that appeared before a judge and the judge preferred one of the boys stories because the boy had given hi m lots of “gifts”. I didn’t get to the end of the book but I am SURE that the judge made the right decision in the end based on the true basis of the law and not on “gifts”.
Lunch was at Raffles - There was another photo exhibition I wanted to see there and so it seemed only right to take use of the facilities... very refined. A walk down the river side (sounds nice but the river is huge, quite dirty and alongside what is essentially a main road!) followed and I got to practice "no thank you" in Cambodian quite alot to street children, tuk tuk drivers and the like - I am almost fluent now....!!!

A drink at the FCC (other picture) seems to be a regular trip now with a beer there this afternoon as well. All that remains is my sundowner to assist with the flow of the Khmer (Cambodian) language lesson I am about to give myself...

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