Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Sardines and luxury


So, unfortunately my faithful Tabby has died, I hope and pray it is not a permanent death and with some tender ministering Tabby may be resurrected once more, but until such time, no more pictures I'm afraid.

So I left early morning on Monday and got a "taxi" with Nai ye the local midwife to the port, from were we hitched a ride on a speed boat to the private island and then took a slow staff boat from there to Koh Rong island.

The taxi rides are always entertaining and terrifying  There were 8 of us in a car, we were lucky as we got to share the front seat, which although uncomfortable meant we didn't have people on our laps. About 20 mins into our journey the taxi driver decided he would stop as he could maybe squeeze a few more in, so we pulled over at a seemingly nondescript stop (later I learnt this was a cross roads leading to 4 majour destinations) here we waited for about 2 hours while he found some more sardines to pack in with us:-) When in Cambodia hey.....

Once nearly at our destination we were pulled over by the police (and rightly so really as we were waaaaay over capacity and the indicators on the car didn't work - although this doesn't really matter in Cambodia as they have a hooting system for overtaking and I notice allot  of vehicles would fail a road worthy). Anyway, I'm thinking, oh my good golly, now we are going to miss our boat and are we going to end up in the slammer..... but of course our good ol driver had some bribery money ready (only 1500r, which is about 0.70p) and off we went with a wink and a smile.

On arrival at the beautiful Koh Rong, Nai ye said I should stay in the staff compound and she didn't have to ask me twice.......real running water, electricity and air con...........luxury. I do feel a bit of a stinky rat though as I know the other girls are boiling alive under the tin roof at the health center.

Alsolutley bugger nothing going on on the island, I think the health needs of the indigenous population has been dramatically overestimated. There are not that many poor people and those that are get a letter from the village chief confirming there financial situation at which point they are transported for free off the island and treated for free (well not free, a local NGO pays for it) at a hospital on the mainland. Most women ferry themselves a week or two before their due date to the mainland hospital and have no need of us. So.... I'm having a holiday for a few days, not so shabby I tell ya.

As I am not needed I have had some time to read. I devoured Somaly Mam's "The road of lost innocence"  in one sitting. It you want an in depth understanding of human trafficking, the sex trade and what really is going on behind the beautiful smiles of the Cambodian people, this is the book for you.

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