Saturday, March 15, 2008

Travel and arrival

I thought the bag was big enough to carry the handbags, the shoes, the jumpers, the stationery.... but no, it weighed 45kg. A mere 25kg over my 20kg baggage allowance. I thought this might be the case given I could not pick my bag up but hoped that my charm would prevail. Suffice to say it did not and as marched away from check in with the information that I would be charged £39 per Kg. Now maths has never been a strong point of mine but fairly soon I realised that my stationery was going to cost me in the region of £120 to transport. Phnom Penh was unlikely to have Symthsons of Bond Street stationery but this did seem a little steep for even my shoe/bag/paper requirements so with the advice that there was an excess baggage company who would charge much less I was happy enough. Some kind traveller had left his "dead" bag to one side after buying a new one from the freight man so after pinching this and checking it for "substances" items were transferred to the poor sad bag that would arrive in Phnom Pehn in about 10 days time!
The flight was good - I was not sat next to any annoying fat person who I am usually placed by. Then we arrived at Singapore. Not much to report about - other than I am pleased to report that my suspicions that it is rather strange and a bit boring were correct. Singapore is like a big airport. All clean and too many signs. Where else in the world are you instructed not to bring a smelly fruit on to the underground?!

Anyway, a cable car ride, a meet the fish at the aquarium and a chat with a dolphin filled one day. Some shopping was practically off limits because of the weight problem (the bag obviously not me). Ate a great meal at a chinese hawkers market with a hundred stalls all selling different food - a bit like wagamamas but alot better (if you could identify the meat).

I was not impressed by the weather in this place. Rain rain rain - this was not what I was looking for. I was so cold I had to buy a jumper (from the exclusive Singapore shop that is "Gap").

Anyway, yesterday flew from Singapore to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. On arrival I was met by a tuk tuk/fixer who will organise everything one may want in this city and driven with 50kg of bags balancing delicately to our B&B.

The B&B is great. Very small and beautiful. It is run by an English woman (who works for the BBC) and her husband who is Cambodian. Have a look at the link if you are interested to Mango Cambodia.... After unpacking we went to a nearby restaurant for dinner - Russian food - where else would you go on your first evening in Cambodia?!

Today, undertook some exploration on foot of the city. We had lunch at the "Garden Centre Cafe" - Like a garden centre cafe without the garden or the centre but there were wicker chairs and they did serve very good cheap food! A walk around the city was then in order in the baking 30 degree+ heat! Street 240 is a boutique shopping type street and so a stop was required there for a smoothie and then on the the Foreign Correspondents Club (a great bar/hotel where we stayed in May 2006 when we visited) for a beer and to check out the local papers....

A slow walk back and then battle with the computer for Internet.... this takes us to tonight's sundowner - a Singapore Sling (to celebrate the departure from that city!) .... so far its not been too tough but its only day one and a trip to the city's infamous dump I think is in order soon.


Kay Jones said...

Great to hear you have arrived safely, if not all your luggage!

Shall look forward to reading all about your adventure on this blog.

Take care and just have fun.

Kay. x

Anonymous said...

Michelle - Charlotte and I were talking about you this evening and wondered how you were getting on - glad to see you arrived safely - speak soon xx

Anonymous said...

PS that comment was from me... clearly can't figure out the technology! Mary xx