The wifi, the history lesson and the lack of internet
The usual sequence of actions occurred on Tuesday again. I was picked up from the guesthouse (luckily, I managed to have a breakfast despite it was earlier than they usually served it), we were driven through narrow street in the usually insane way, transported to what could be with a dose of faith called a bus terminal, repeatedly refused to buy anything the people were selling there (some eventually gave up, but not many) and soon we were allowed on the bus. The sign 'Free Wifi' looked too good to be true, but it was! That was quite the shocker, considering they barely managed any internet at fixed places, wi-fi on a bus was worth an applause.
On an unrelated note – Cambodia is flat. Like FLAT flat. At least in the northern-western parts. Not even a hill. Nothing. Finland is called flat but it's a roller-coaster compared to Cambodia.
For most of the trip we were being entertained by recordings of Cambodian karaoke and I personally suffered a little. It's not that I wouldn't like the music, but I certainly didn't need it for several hours on repeat. Luckily (well, luckily, that depends on), later on they put on the movie Killing Fields. I assume so we, tourist, would learn something about the recent history. It seems like a fair guess considering that the stewardess was also telling us about significant sights we passed by on our way. Nobody seemed to care and I could barely understand what she was saying so don't ask me, I know nothing.
However, the movie caught my attention, but the screen was tiny and the sound rarely present, so I need to watch it again properly. Cambodia and its history deserve the attention.
Phnom Penh was yet another reality check (after the rather pitiful state of the countryside; I was later told it hadn't rain much during the winter and everything was dry and parched). In one of the future posts, there will be photos that will show the state of things in Phnom Penh better than I could describe in words.
Already on the bus I purchased a ticket for a tuk-tuk to take me to my hostel. I may get a better price if I would just walk away and wave one, but it's just too easy this way, so why bother. I got on my designated tuk-tuk and we headed for the Mad House. I guess I go after cool and hip names.
We found it fairly easily (I had the whole damn address written down so I wouldn't end up somewhere completely else again), I checked in, started arranging the bus tickets to Sihanouk Ville for Friday and with a little help from the staff got online. It wasn't my fault, mind you, the net from the rooftop restaurant really wasn't working, but it meant I would need to be at the downstairs restaurant to be online. And there were people. But what can you do.
The first guy (well, rather boy) at the reception did not exactly master his English language skills so he wasn't able to answer a single question I asked about the bus ticket and the trip from PP to SHV. And after I told him NOT to book the ticket yet, he went on and booked it. Which I found out later on, when another guy (also, rather a boy) came to take over the reception and voilá, there was English and mutual understanding. What a lovely thing, that is. So he went on to book my ticket (in the meanwhile, I tried to find some information about the length of the trip, departure times and other possible companies and prices) only to find out that the previous guy actually booked it already. A minor facepalm was at place, but eventually it wasn't an issue so I just moved on.
And then, at the end of the day, I decided to screw it all and had a beef burger with cheese and fries and was completely happy again. Sometimes, a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do.
Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog – 'A man's gotta do'
The visit to Toul Sleng Genocide Museum was on the agenda for Wednesday and then continuing to the Royal Palace and whatever else would be there to observe and admire. That was the original plan. Only the first part of it actually happened.
It is true when they say that mo matter how good you are at something – there's always an Asian kid who can do it better.
I spent several hours (more) at the museum and after those hours I was so mentally and emotionally exhausted that observing and admiring anything anymore would be completely pointless.
I didn't even feel like seeking for a decent place to eat at so I literally went into the first yard with pictures of meals. They looked at me as if I came from another planet, but despite the limited English they were absolutely amazing and caring. Food was great, cheap and didn't have any aftermaths.
So instead of heading towards the palace, I turned back to the guesthouse, only searching for some minimarts on the way. Eventually, I was too tired to get anywhere anymore so another burger at the Mad House it was. I'm not sure naming a beef burger 'Mad Burger' would be exactly successful several years ago in Europe, but it lifted my spirit a little. The magic only crispy bacon can do.
And then, on Thursday, the internet went down. It died on me.
Of course, I could use the opportunity and go out to actually search and admire all I skipped the previous day. Well, let me ask you – do you think I felt like going anywhere? You may have already guessed the answer is 'Nope. Not really.'
I tried to catch up with the blog, but the right writing state of mind decided not to show up. I didn't exactly feel like gaming either (believe it or not, although it was mainly because there were people around; even I'd feel strange to play Skyrim on my holiday in Cambodia if someone could see me). So essentially, the only other (constructive) thing to do was photo editing. And there I realized I still had tons of concert photos from Tammerfest 2012, some more photos from single concerts and the whole Vesisota 2012 (Water Battle happening in Tampere at the end of the summer). So I got to it.
This is a little off-topic as it has nothing to do with Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam or traveling in general, but I feel like it belongs here.
I could say that I practically took a break from concert photography when I left Finland in September 2012. A quite long break, I'd say. I don't know if I've been paying more attention to other people's concert photographs, if I have been reading more, if it was how much I've missed it or something completely else. But somehow, after more than six months of separation from concert photography (with only one little exception at the end of January), I started to edit them in a whole new way, paying more attention to things and features I never really noticed, putting more time into them and eventually, being so happy with the outcome as ever. I amazed myself with what I managed to get out of the photos I neglected for almost a year because I couldn't see anything useful in them before and I was frustrated by expecting to be frustrated.
And then they just popped and worked absolutely amazingly and I was just looking at them with my mouth open, barely coping with the fact that those photos are really mine and it was really me who did the magic with them. I was blown. And I missed concerts and people around them even more.
So this pretty much took the whole day and I was pretty happy the whole time. I guess it really doesn't matter what you do and how much you love it, sometimes you just have to take a break, let it go for the time being, and things will get figured and sorted out somehow eventually.