Light and Breezy

The Local Market

The local neighborhood market is a miniature version of the downtown Night Market, but with a very noticeable lack of bars and massage parlors. There is a lot more concentration on food, clothing, and cosmetics. Cosmetics are a big thing in Cambodia.

The Peace Cafe

One of the cleanest and most beautiful bits of jungle in the neighborhood is the Peace Café. It sits about a half mile up the road and across the river from The Royal Dragon Apartments where I live. Gorgeous exotic fresh flowers of various purples and oranges grace each table. The place is spotless and the servers are in uniforms. As soon as a customer sits down, the server arrives with a smiling face and a cold, wet, very refreshing mentholated towel.

Death Defying Dragon Drivers

I grew up in New York City and have since been in major metropolitan areas around the world. Cambodian drivers are by far and away the craziest and bravest I have ever seen. It is a miracle that half the population doesn’t die daily in traffic accidents! Tuk-tuks, motorbikes, some cars, and the occasional truck weave around each other with very reckless abandon. It is common to see someone driving on the wrong side of the road as if it is their personal one-way street and the opposing traffic is part of a video game obstacle course. Like Grand Theft Auto, drivers seem to treat the driving process as a form of entertainment instead of a potentially dangerous form of transportation. Rules are fluid. Folks have no trouble bending them. I have seen tuk-tuks going north while motorbikes go south in the same lane. As this goes on, a car tries to use the very same space to go from east to west. The situation is a bit more tame but still prevalent in my little suburban neighborhood. Downtown is flat-out batshit crazy. Pedestrians are always at risk. Looking both ways before crossing may not be enough.

Laughing Girl

A few blocks walk from the Peace Café is a free standing hut restaurant with seventy-five cent coconuts. They chop the top off and stick a straw in one for me. A few blocks past that, down a side street, is a stand with a dozen kinds of natural juices. Half of the juices are made from fruits I have never heard of before. I get the Aloe Vera. Downing both juices would give a good rush all by itself. The monstrous amounts of sugar that Cambodians put in everything possible adds to the jolt.

About the Author

Doug “Ten” Rose may be the biggest smartass as well as one of the most entertaining survivors of the hitchhiking adventurers that used to cover America’s highways. He is the author of the books Fearless Puppy on American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense, has survived heroin addiction and death, and is a graduate of over a hundred thousand miles of travel without ever driving a car, owning a phone, or having a bank account.

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