Sunday, January 1, 2012

As I Start To Wade

Shorts, shirt, flip flops and a bike. This was how I prepared for my afternoon routine on the first day of the year. This has been my usual Sunday routine since I got settled in Phnom Penh almost a month ago. I spend Sunday afternoons riding a bike and just pedaling away with no destination in mind so I'd get acquainted with the ins and outs of the city.

Before I got here, I researched the world wide web, looking for clues as to how it is living in Phnom Penh. They said that Cambodia is the third poorest country in the world so I prepared myself with that thought in mind. To add to that, a fellow Filipino working in the same company which hired me here in PP said that PP is like a city of the 70's. That got me excited as I was always fascinated with the 70s and the 80s.

But lo and behold when I got here, I saw Camry's and Lexuses abound the city almost as numerous as the TukTuks that ply the streets. I said to myself this is not a picture of a third world country. Imagine almost everyone has a Lexus here, or a Camry.

And this was the scene this afternoon as I ride my bike along Monivong Blvd, but this time with a destination. I am going to spend a lazy afternoon on the banks of the Tonle Sap River. After riding through the crazy maze of traffic here in PP, I finally got to Sisowath, the street along the river front. There, tourists and locals abound. With the tourists taking pictures as they walk along the river front or just simply idling by in a cafe having an afternoon coffee. Locals on the other hand are busy selling their stuff, from weird looking food to souvenirs to shoes to cigarettes and even, fun. :)

So there I was, walking along the river banks, bike in one hand and map on the other. I chose a good spot under a tree to sit on and just enjoy the site of the river. Sitting, and seeing local fishermen in their tiny motorboats busy with catching fishes to sell, I suddenly thought of why I was here in the first place. Of course I know the reason why I was here, and this was not because I was offered work  here. The reason why I wanted to leave Philippines was a personal one. And before going here in Cambodia, I prayed to God to give me  a sign for a new start. I said I wanted to work abroad and I wanted it ASAP. Just a few days after that conversation with God, I received an email for a video interview. To cut the story short, interview went well, got offered a nice job and so I went here. I grabbed the first offer of working abroad without even thinking if Im gonna like it here.

Then an officemate asked, " So why choose Cambodia?" . I replied, " I honestly don't know. But with the one month I'm here, I think I am loving it so far" while staring at the river cruiser slowly making its way towards the opposite side of the bank.

And as the river cruiser that I am looking at now slowly inch its way to my side of the bank, I though to myself, will I be able to cross the river and reach my goal? Only time can tell.

Happy 2012 !!!


  1. new start for a new year! It's scary but always exciting to live in an unknown place.

    so, what pushed you to get away from 'Pinas?

  2. I admire your courage. Someday, I'm going to pull off something like what you did--I fancy the idea of leaving everything and going somewhere else. In a few years, I'll do that. Enjoy your stay there and hope to read more from this blog.

  3. Im not sure if you can call it courage, maybe in a way yes. but the reason for my leaving was a personal one ... more on trying to forget something ...

  4. Escape then. Or to forget. Maybe ... a little of both.


  5. I know. Only time can tell.