I woke up this morning expecting to be able to rent a motorbike for the day to get outside of the God-forsaken hell hole that is Phnom Penh and explore the beauty that hopefully would be on offer outside of the city limits. Continuing its hold on me, Phnom Penh kept me on its shady streets for another day thanks to the main, reliable motorbike company being closed for the day due to the extended Khmer New Year holiday. After enjoying the company of my A/C room (a cool temp and breeze sometimes being my best friends), I ventured out for a walk before finding myself at the Flicks cinema half hour till four p.m. The Flicks is an expat sponsored venture in which movies new, old, and Cambodian themed are featured in its lone theater for $3.50 giving you an all day pass to the movies screened that day. Outside this comfy theater room pumped with air con and graced with comfy chairs and cushioned mats and pillows to remind me of a fancy home movie theater, the bar room and lounge occupied my time before the day’s first screening at 4 p.m. At first I had no plans on watching all three movies that would keep me there till ten o’clock at night but what else would I be doing in Phnom Penh. Honestly, I was ready to watch a marathon of Nicolas Cage classics if it meant I could be spared some time on the scam riddled streets of this wretched city. Thinking back on my time in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok was the pearly gates in comparison to P.P. Anyways, I was content to laze about in the comfort of other westerners while sipping some brews and getting a delivered burrito to further emphasize the occasion. I have really missed my films from back home as movies are a passion and hobby of mine. For a moment, I felt back home in the man cave of a basement watching movies and forgetting about the moment at hand and the world around me. That’s what makes films/movies special. For that couple hours or so, you drift off to a world other than your own. I watched ‘The Wild’, ‘The Wedding Ringer’, and ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’. ‘The Wild’ really hit home with me as the main character in this true story based film went in search of something in the woods and nature of the western United States along the seemingly endless path of the Pacific Coast Trail. Although I have never experienced a physical trial so fierce, I can see myself in the same light as someone not necessarily sure of what I am searching for but finding the truth of what my heart really desires is finding me along the way even when I don’t realize it until I reach those rare quiet moments when I can reflect on where I have been and how far I have come (with the ‘far’ representing an emotional and mental separation rather than a physical distance). Before getting back to the White Rabbit hostel I picked up some water from the usual mart I had been shopping at, which isn’t interesting or worthwhile to note except for random sighting. One naked boy no older than five years old (probably the grandson of the shop owner) came busting in with not even the slightest grace to wear a long shirt over bare body. While I was paying and trying to comprehend where I was, this little brown tyke ran toward the cooler immersing himself into it before running away with his chosen beverage as if it were the most natural thing in the world. After finally getting back to the White Rabbit, I received my almighty Vietnamese 90 day visa true to speck and then reserved my motorbike rental for tomorrow to make sure I could see the wildlife sanctuary I originally planned on seeing today. Getting the visa itself represented a kind of leap of faith in itself since I handed it over to my guesthouse, which is quite common along with travel agency services. In any other country, you go to the embassy yourself but not in Cambodia. With this service, they took care of it for an extra five dollars, sparing me the troubles and hassle of pursuing it myself. I had to ask myself how they could finish completing my visa on a Saturday when the Vietnamese embassy is closed but Cambodians find a way to dodge whatever quote unquote laws may or may not be in place. Cambodia can seem like the Wild West at times in which anything goes. The crime scene and police from my limited knowledge seem to get intermingled and in bed with each other to the point you don’t know who is on which side. To say the least, the sooner I get out of Phnom Penh the better. God I love America. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
‘Wats’ in Cambodia Day 128: A Day at the Movies