Mă chinui de vreo câteva săptămâni să scriu despre Cambodgia. Nu știu de ce, dar mi-e atât de greu să aștern aici toate trăirile de care am avut parte în țara asta minunată. Mi se pare că oricât de mult aș povesti, nu aș putea să descriu exact tot ce s-a întâmplat acolo. M-a impresionat până la lacrimi și am un nod în gât chiar și acum, în timp ce scriu.

Am aterizat în Phnom Penh, capitala Cambodgiei, după ora 22.00. Am antamat cu o zi înainte, un șofer de tuk tuk care să ne aștepte, tocmai pentru că aveam zbor târziu și nu mai aveam chef să negociem pentru transport, mai ales că nu aveam cazare rezervată, deci nu știam unde trebuie să ajungem.  Imediat cum am aterizat, am mers la biroul pentru acordarea vizei. Am completat un formular, am avut nevoie de 2 fotografii (noi le-am avut de acasă, dar poți să le faci și în aeroport) și cred că totul a durat maximum 20 de minute. Costul unei vize turistice este 20 USD și este valabilă o lună. Ai mare grijă să nu pierzi formularul pe care o să-l primești în pașaport. O să ai nevoie de el la ieșirea din țară.

Sok, șoferul nostru, ajunsese la aeroport cu o oră înainte ca noi să aterizăm. Mi-a trimis un mesaj în care, nu exagerez, mă implora să nu cumpăr cartelă SIM din aeroport pentru că e mai scumpă. Urma să aflu ce înseamnă mai scump pentru el 🙂  Cum am ieșit afară, umiditatea și-a spus cuvântul și am transpirat instant. Sok era fix la ieșire și ne-a întâmpinat cu un zâmbet larg. Încearcă să fie drăguț, mă gândeam eu. În fine, l-am rugat să ne găsească un loc de cazare și am pornit spre oraș.

Primul impact, pac! Veneam după câteva zile de Singapore, curățenie, trafic ordonat, totul aranjat la milimetru, perfecțiunea, ce să mai vorbim. Ne-am trezit într-un haos incredibil. Claxoane peste claxoane, un trafic de coșmar.  Tuk tuk ul este principalul mijoc de transport în Cambodgia. Închipuie-ți sute de tuk tuk uri care claxonează non stop și care circulă fără să țină cont de nimic. Ce semafor roșu, ce indicator de stop, ce trecere de pietoni? Singura regulă e că nu există reguli. Palpitant, nu?

După o oră de mers nebun, am ajuns la hotel. Fix în centrul orașului, pe malul lacului. Cazarea a costat 20 USD pe noapte. Am lăsat bagajele în cameră și am mers să mâncăm. Șoferul ne-a dus pe niște străduțe întunecate, care păreau destul de dubioase, dar s-au dovedit a fi super ok.

Mi-am cumpărat cartela pentru telefon. Am plătit 1 USD, iar Sok mi-a activat o ofertă în care beneficiam de internet in valoare de 333 USD. Cam ieftin, așa e? Rețeaua SMART a mers super bine, a avut acoperire în toate zonele.

Ne-am oprit apoi ca să mâncăm. Seara, oamenii care locuiau pe străduța aceea, ieșeau cu aragazul înfața casei și găteau pentru localnici. I-am spus lui Sok că ne dorim o experiență autentică și chiar așa a fost. Eram singurii străini printre familiile de cambodgieni. Toată lumea ne privea cu un zâmbet larg. Ne întrebau non stop dacă suntem bine, dacă mai dorim ceva. Sok a fost invitatul nostru la cină. Era așa de rușinos. L-am întrebat care e felul lui preferat de mâncare. Mi-a spus că fructele de mare, deși mânca vită. Când l-am întrebat de ce nu și-a luat fructe de mare, a spus că el e sărac și trebuie să mănânce ca să se sature, nu ca să îi placă. La final, nota de plată a fost de aproape 7USD.

Ne-am întors la hotel și i-am plătit lui Sok transferul de la aeroport plus ieșitul în oras, 8 USD. Am stabilit ca a doua zi, dis de dimineață, să mergem la închisoarea S 21 și la câmpurile morții.

Am adormit târziu, mă tot gândeam dacă oamenii pe care i-am întâlnit în noaptea aceea, erau amabili pe bune sau voiau doar să lase o impresie bună. Oare zâmbetul larg, nelispit de pe fața lui Sok, era sincer sau doar încerca să se facă plăcut? Aveam să primesc răspunsul în următoarele zile.


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