Thursday, May 18, 2006

Caged clothes and other Phnom Penh oddities

One of the strangest and funniest observations I made while visiting Phnom Penh lately are the clothing cages. Yes, there are locked cages on rollers on the sidewalks holding laundry. I guess there is a fear that passersby will steal their laundry. It's not just a single incident either. I saw several of these things along the roads.

On Tuesday, which also happened to be Royal Ploughing Day, the street near my guesthouse was blocked because of its close proximity to the ceremony. This resulted in traffic congestion along the small street in front of the guesthouse. While I was standing in front pondering my breakfast options and watching this chaos unfold I was amuzed at the spectacle of a certain foreigner in a Honda CRV who was trying to move against the flow of motorbikes but was stuck. It was incredible to see him heave his oversized white body out of the passenger side door with such a violent jerk that I thought some motorkbikes were going to tumble like bowling pins. Instead of the possibility of some raging "barang" explosion, he parked his bulk in the road to block any oncoming traffic thus making way for his own vehicle driven by a much smaller Cambodian man. The traffic continued as if he were never there.

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