Hello from Cambodia!

Monday, January 26, 2004
Hello again! I'm back in Cambodia again... who would have thought I'd
be here twice in two years?? Anyway, here I am. Before we arrived
into Cambodia we spent 5 days in Bangkok meeting up with some friends
and doing some work for Silversisters. Then we spent a few nights on
an Thai island having seafood BBQ's every evening... and that's when we
came to Cambodia.

Perhaps you remember my LAST description of crossing the overland
border into Cambodia? This one was just as bad. It turns out the
ferry we wanted from the border only leaves once a day at 8am. We
arrived at 11am and therefore had to spent the night in the worst town
imaginable. It was here that we found out about the moto mafia. Motos
are just little mopeds; it's an easy, common wasy to get around. But,
the people that drive them seem to wield some sort of power. We
couldn't even buy our own ferry ticket without using a moto driver as
our go between - they get a cut of everything. We bumped into a
Bostonian (?!?!) who lives in the town and he helped us out with how
things work around here.

Finally though, we got to our desination of Sihanoukville, a coastal
beach town in the south and it was worth it. It was Chinese New
Year... and to me, it was just another day. But, to all the billions
of Chinese, it means vacation time! I think they all came to the same
beach as we did. The place we stayed in came eqipped with it's own
cow, pig, donkey AND dog. One night they locked the front gate and we
had to wake up poor old grandma sleeping in the mosquito net in their
outdoor living room. I imagine she can sleep through ANYTHING given
the 24 hour karaoke bar next door. We had to really yell loudly. Here
we discovered more about moto mafia: if they pick you up from the bus
station, ferry etc and take you to a hotel, they "own" the right to
moto you around for the duration of your stay. We walked to the beach
the first morning and came back after sunset... only to have "our" moto
driver yell and say to us, "Where have you been all day?" We never did
take a moto ride from him.

Today we rented our own moped. I was the passenger and Rob drove. It
was a little nerve wracking at first and even the pair of oxen carrying
pottery seemed to be going faster. After getting used to the potholes
- we were on our way. Just like India - Horn okay please. You just
beep if you are going to pass someone. Most traffic is on bikes
anyway, but beware of cattle etc. It was great! We tooled around,
check out the town of Kep which is a deserted beach town. It was where
the ruling French built mansions. But, in the late 70's there was a
famine and the locals took everything of value and sold it to the
Vietnamese for food. Fair enough. The basic structure of the building
is still there though and we snuck in to have a peek.

That's it for now! Must go! To everyone who has written... I will
respond soon! Thanks for writing!


Fun Facts:
- All Cambodian moto drivers wear baseball caps.
- The Kmer (Cambodian) word for thank you is "akun".

Hello from Thailand!

Thursday, January 22, 2004
Hello everyone! After a four month hiatus of not sending updates, I'm
finally back! I left Boston way back on Octber 30th. I spent a week
in Iceland before heading over to England. I stayed in England for 2
and a half months where I stayed with Rob. I met Rob last year when I
was in a swamp in Brazil! We really hit it off, he visited me in
Boston over the summer and then I visited him... then we decided to
take this trip together! I arrived into England in the beginning of
November and went with him to different cities around England while he
worked - Manchester, Reading, and London. We spent most of the rest of
the time in Ipswich, where he lives. My parents and sister came over
for Christmas and we spent New Year's Eve with my sister and the
Mannequin Piss in Brussels, Belgium. Rob got laid off from his job (as
he knew he would) and a few days later - we came to Thailand! We
bought a one way ticket. The plan is to travel around South East Asia
before going up to China and to Russia. From there we will take the
Trans Siberian Railway across Russia into Eastern Europe. I just have
to get back to England by July to go to the World Interhash in Wales.

I'll try and write as regularly as I did last year, and please stay in
touch. It is always great hearing from everyone! I posted lots of
photos on my website from anything between April of last year and
January of this year. You can see them at

Bye for now! Alison