Saturday, October 11, 2008

Monster trucks

One thing that has got me muttering under my breath more and more in Cambodia is the nations ridiculous obsession with 4 wheel drive vehicles - its a status symbol. Terrorising the roads these hideous things honk their horns at innocent cyclers and plough down pedestrians. These vehicles see you crossing the road and honk and flash their lights at you to warn you of their existence...When I am "honked" I can only grumble: "What do you think I am going to do I am trapped in the middle of the road, you are the size of a small country - I CAN [insert swearing] SEE YOU!!!" Huh! - On they zoom through the town with no care to reach their destination only to park on the PAVEMENT.

Many people who own "monster truck" are in the army (you can tell from number plates) and considering armed forced staff earn $30 a month you have to think about how they can afford the latest Lexus....

You cannot walk here. Fact. Well you can try... but every 100m or so you will have to get off the cracked, crumbling, aged pavement step onto the road (to potentially be met by a roaring jeep coming straight for you) and walk in the gutter because 10 of these monster vehicles will be parked right in front of their destination - very convenient for them I'm sure but totally inconsiderate of anyone else and blocking the pavement.

Whilst making a comparison to Vietnam will probably go down like a tonne of lead here I'll do it anyway. In HCMH city there must be CAR PARKS because there are no monsters on the pavements. The pavements (at least in the areas I saw are for WALKING). Pavements exist. Walking is a reasonably nice experience!... That said in Vietnam there is not an obsession with "monster truck" and the moto still rules the road so....

I'm not sure what will change Mr Cambodian Monster Truck. The ride and park where ever you like scheme suits those with the power - Walking even 50m is apparently ridiculous.
That said, of course, some expats are just as bad - witnessed: A mother pile her kids into monster truck at home and drive 100m to air-con expat cafe. I guess she didn't want her kids having to walk in the gutter.... Aghhhh!!!

My street - where there is no pavement on one side to make way for a car park.
....just a photo taken in HCMC where the pavements can be seen!

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