More on today’s journey

Ok, I will fire off more hoping the connection will stay stable.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s tough to take pictures of all you see when you are basically off roading in some places. Cambodia is basically flat, and as it’s the end of the wet season parts are flooded. About half the population is under 30, and half of those are aged 10 and under. The Khmer Rouge killed off the intellectuals and anyone with an education, so in that respect Cambodia was brought back to “Year Zero”. Education is not compulsory, so if family needs the child for work s/he does not go to school. When school is held, it’s a half-day session. Poverty is huge here–lots of heaps of garbage and broken down items. Also saw some lovely things, too: Patches of beautiful lotuses, kids frolicking in streams, a temple peeping out of green fields, people going about their daily lives, bridges and other structures being built. Saw some scarier things too: A family of four riding on a motorcycle; dad (who wore a helmet) holding an infant on his shoulders while the motorbike was in motion. Bottles of gasoline are stored in glass liter bottles at roadside stands–in the hot sun, no less.
More later–Aimee

The road to Siem Reap

Today we took a bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Journey took about 10 hours, with about two hours for immigration and breaks. We entered at Poipet, which is apparently the last border to close after the Khmer Roughe took over–if you were going to get out, that was the place for it. I think it should be renamed “Poi-pit” or, rhythmically, “Toilet”. Dusty, hot, muggy, with piles of garbage and a road pockmarked with potholes the size of small ponds. Lots of kids working. The road to SR is pretty bumpy, so is difficult to take pictures. And the internet connection here in SR is pretty spotty, so my description will have to stay short for now.
Aimee

Dispatch Number One

Sawadee ka!
Here I am in Bangkok. The total flight time was over 17 hours, and I got here at 11:30 p.m. Bangkok is 14 hours ahead of Seattle time. It was 80 + degrees with 90% humidity–totally different from 54 degrees and damp in Seattle! On the way to the hotel I saw roadside food stalls, and it looks like Chinatown was hopping in places late at night. I’m not terribly jetlagged, but am taking it easy this afternoon as I acclimate to time and climate changes. The hotel I’m at is in Chinatown and I took a stroll for a couple hours. All sorts of goods, from military gear, including a cheap rifle, to batiks, were offered. I was one of the few western faces around, and no one bothered me at all. Alleyways with smells of rice, frying bananas, fish, fruit, pollution, and some unidentified smells as well. Saw a dried up Khlong (canal) that looked like it doubled as a toilet. Poverty is here too but haven’t seen many beggars. Traffic is a big here, and my asthma is feeling it to a degree, though I’m glad I wore a mask outside.
Weirdest thing I saw on my way yesterday was a toilet in Narita International that in addition to having a functioning flush mechanism, gave options that included making a flushing sound…
Tomorrow I’ll try to see a few sights before hooking up with the tour group. Take care. Let’s hope the market crash halts quickly!
Aimee

Aimee’s Asian Travels

As some blog readers know, Aimee is embarking on a five-week journey throughout Southeast Asia. I’ll post her travel dispatches on the blog as they are available.

 

This trip involves tours from two travel companies. She’s touring with Intrepid Travel and Myths & Mountains. Intrepid will take Aimee through Cambodia and Vietnam while Myths will take her through Nepal.

 

Photos and any audio/video will have to wait until Aimee’s return. Maybe I’ll convince her to travel with a computer on the next adventure.

Interesting Sounds of Nature

The Associated Press ran a story talking about a librarian in Utah trying to catalog many of the animal sounds found in the western U.S. At first browse, The Western Soundscape Archive seems quite intriguing and as a nice touch, the Flash used on the site seems to be of the accessible variety.

 

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Rattlesnakes aren’t to be trifled with, but if you’re trying to collect the sound of every creature in the West that slithers, hops, flies or flops, distance isn’t a luxury you can afford.

”You get yourself in some strange situations,” said Jeff Rice, a soft-spoken University of Utah research librarian who’s trying to create the first comprehensive — and free to the public — archive of natural sounds in the West.