The phone call I’ve been waiting for has come: “Scuse me sir, your passport’s here.”
As much as I’ve been waiting to hear those words, it sends a cold shiver down my spine, just to know it’s two more trips on a bus to Phnom Penh and return.
But good news is just around the corner because the Journo has gone to Vietnam to meet up with Lisa, a friend of ours, so this week I’m in charge and I’m thinking of flying.
As luck would have it, I’ve scored some cheapies there and back for $126.00, so I’m onto a plane Saturday morning and I’m at the embassy doors when they open first thing Monday morning.
Imagine my surprise when walking there and I turn into the street the embassy is on to find hundreds of police and thousands of people all over the place and with thousands more walking in the same direction. It was some sort of political demonstration with all the bells and whistles.
Luckily, I was able to get to my destination, grab my new passport and get out of there before it all started to get too rowdy.
So my next step was off to immigration to get a new exit visa, then I would be on my way home. Sadly, the new exit visa, which costs $40, takes three working days t0 process, so I have to change my return flight home and I have to get a Friday flight out.
The woman at immigration in Phnom Penh was very helpful and said she would try to get the exit visa back as soon as she could and I think she’s the only person in the capital who didn’t ask me for money.
Phnom Penh is my least favourite place in Cambodia and the extra few days there hasn’t changed my mind. Being there myself, without the Journo, seemed to put me in the category of sex tourist as I lost count of the number of times I was offered prostitutes and drugs. And if I had to say “no thank you” to one more tuk tuk driver I think I would have exploded. The only thing I wasn’t offered was sex with a prostitute in a tuk tuk doing drugs.
The last afternoon in Phnom Penh I came across the Outback Bar and being a lover of the Aussie outback, I thought I’d grab myself a burger and a few beers. So I put my head inside and luckily for me the only people in there were bar staff so I slipped into the place and ordered a meal and a beer.
As soon as the food turned up, so did the prostitutes, wanting to know if I wanted a good time. Little did they know that I was having a good time until they arrived. So it was a hasty lunch and beer and I was on my way back to the guesthouse to watch TV in the room with a beer and maybe a snooze to fill in the arvo.
Friday morning is like a breath of fresh air for me as I’m up and at the airport at 7am for my 9.15am flight back to Siem Reap. Hopefully after a quick trip out of the country to get my new e-visa, things will be back to normal.