The way back to the airport

posted in: Cambodia, Roads | 0

As my visit in Cambodia was nearing its end, I had to make my way to Japan. At first I wanted to leave directly from Siem Reap, but it became evident that the best way to proceed would be to return to Phnom Penh and fly out from there. My hostel in Siem Reap had a sister hostel in Phnom Penh and arranged a booking for me.
I took a bus toward Phnom Penh not knowing that the journey back would be much more unpleasant than the way to. I was seated beside a mother with her infant and somehow found myself with their bags piled up on top of me. I’m still not sure how this happened or why they weren’t piled on top of the father.
The next big issue was the AC being out of order. Now, in a previous post I had mentioned how the heat proved to be a challenge when it came to hydration. Being in an overfull bus with defective AC for 7 to 8 hours due to bad road conditions was definitely a bad scenario. Soon I started feeling nauseous and weak. Thankfully, I was sitting by a window, which I opened despite the dust coming in. Better the dust than the heat.
I was not the only one affected and soon the infant couldn’t take the heat anymore and started vomiting in one powerful stream that somehow managed to miss me. The scent of vomit and the threat of being used as a target by the baby only added to the unpleasant situation. Most of all, I wished the parents got off the bus and took measurers to ensure the wellbeing of that baby, because he was definitely not well – if vomiting because of the heat is bad for an adult, it’s a much worst sign for a baby.
Then as if things weren’t bad enough, the road became a parking lot in a town not too far from Siem Reap.  My ordeal was not over yet since, when I finally made it to Siem Reap, tuk-tuk drivers somehow spotted me in the bus and swarmed the doors, even preventing people from getting off.  It was horrible. You never really get used to that feeling, if anything you only get more fed up as days pass. To make matter worst, the driver got greedy and asked for a ridiculous sum. Metered taxis truly tend to be the best option for tourists.
The next day I let the hostel arrange the driver for me, I was quite done dealing with drivers. I left relatively in advance, but nothing could have prepared me for the flooded streets and the parking lot it had become. As time flew, I started worrying out as I realized there was no way I would make it on the plane. I even started to consider stopping one of the bikes that were zipping between the cars and pay them to bring me. The plane ticket to Tokyo from Phnom Penh was a rather expensive one and I did not want to have to incur this expense again.
Thankfully, my driver – sensing my panic – exchanged a few words with a policeman who waived us through in the oncoming traffic. I have never experienced anything of the sort before, but it did get me to the airport a mere five minutes after boarding cut-off time. Thankfully, the staff still processed my bags. I really did not want a repeat of my experience in Manila with Cebu Airlines.
It took me a while to get through security and, eventually, there too I was waived through. I do believe even the plane waited for me that day. Finally, I let out a sigh of relief: I was on my plane taking off for Kuala Lumpur where I would transfer to Japan.

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