The FAQs I get about my life or travels here and there.
Have a question that isn’t answered here? Ask me.
Q: Any cyclones?
A: No not yet, but I’m told they’re almost annual events, but not always categorically huge. Some of the long time locals have been through ones big enough to go into evacuation, with some houses being completely torn apart.
Q: Seen a crocodile?
A: No! Personally I haven’t yet, and I’m a bit bummed about it. Though I’m told I don’t want to be in a situation where I do get to see one face to face!
*UPDATE* I saw not one but THREE bäru (crocodile) in one day! Of course it was the day I had family visiting from down South so I suspect the crocs knew and put on a show. There were two just lazily laying in the sun across the bay at Daliwuy and then one slipped into the water with another (or possibly the same one) appearing further up the bank. I am now awaiting more visitors so I can spot one again.
Q: Is it humid?
A: Well I’ve moved up during wet season, so it kinda is, but not like I’m used to in Cambodia! Everyone can’t wait for dry season, so I’m imagining that must be heaven if the humidity now seems bad.
Q: Just how remote IS it?
A: Not as remote as I thought! Geographically it is, you can only get in and out by plane or boat some parts of the year! But there’s everything and more that any small town has. Shops, schools, post office, pubs, swimming pool… the only thing that’s made me feel remote is the shipping time. Some shipping comes in on a barge, some by plane, in dry season some by truck and I can’t get my head around it. A small ebay order took 10 weeks but a large order from Sydney took a couple of days… It has taught me patience!!
Q: Is it hot?
A: Yes. But I will never complain about it, and if I ever do please send me back to Adelaide in the middle of July so I remember why one should never complain about the heat. But seriously, yes it is. But I’ve only ever been here during the wet season so ask me again come January!
Q: How do you understand the traffic?
A: Ah, I don’t really. There’s definitely a flow you get used to, but I’ve found you’ve got to read each situation on the road. For example when turning left you may actually need to ride on the wrong side of the road for a while then find a break in the traffic. Or just because you’ve got a green light doesn’t mean some crazy moto won’t run a red light from the other direction. My hot tip is to grow eyes in the back of your head.
Q: Can you use both US dollar and Khmer Riel?
A: Yes. I still don’t entirely know the history of why this is. Perhaps it began after the Vietnam war? However Vietnam have stuck to Vietnamese Dongs…Anyway both are good. Any change lower than a dollar will be returned in Riel, and don’t even bother with a $100 note at the markets you’ll give your vendor a heart attack!
Q: Why Cambodia?
A: Good question. The original answer is that a friend of my sister heard about a volunteering experience in Cambodia, thus I was introduced to the idea. 4 years later I’m still volunteering in Cambodia because I LOVE this country; it’s people, it’s customs, it’s happiness. And despite visiting other countries with the same qualities, none have such a touching and heartbreaking recent history that has completely destroyed or stolen many of the opportunities that I am fortunate enough to have simply for being born into circumstance.
Q: Can everybody speak English?
A: No, but if you’re in the tourist or hospitality areas most Khmer staff will speak great English. The further you get from those spots the smaller the English vocabularies and once you’re out of the city there’s nearly no English. But rest assured every man, woman, granny and child in Cambodia knows ‘HELLOOOOO!!!!’