29 March 2010

"This is number one...

... and the fun has just begun" go lyrics of a song I'm often heard humming. But I sure hope that my number one in this case will not go to number two!

The plan for today was to take an early morning bus to Kampot, go around the city and arrange a jungle trekking for a couple of days. Easy, no stress,... my usual.

What I was planning to write as my next post was how brilliant the sea food here is and that even Mexico (my No.1 sea food place until now) is overshadowed. Clams, scallops, barracuda, squid... all deliciously prepared and incredibly cheap.

But instead, I will describe my day until now:
- Took a cold shower around midnight to cool down and go to bed.
- As per my usual, I feel asleep almost instantaneously.
- Woke up at 3 am to go to the toilet and when I came back I wanted to check my mobile to see how long I can still sleep before my bus. My mobile was not next to my bed where I expected it! Open lights, look around... my small backpack is strangely positioned.... check and notice that cash that was in the belt pocket is gone! Check inside and my iPod and my camera are missing! Bloody brilliant!! The door to my room is not locked anymore!!! I had a visitor while I was sleeping...
I guess it is good that I'm quite a deep sleeper cause I have no clue what would happen if I would wake up when he/she was there. But thank god the passport was left lying on the bed and my bank cards as well - a polite thieve one might say... gave me options to continue my travel easily enough. He/she didn't even take my Ray Bans. For my good the person was not just ballsy enough to come in whilst I was in the room and take my mobile from half a meter from me, but also to go through my backpack and pick and choose. :)
- Report the theft to the guesthouse at 6 am when they woke up (didn't get a lot of sleep in between) and then head to the police station. I need the report for my insurance claim.
- Police comes in only at 8 and immediatly tells me that I need a report from guesthouse.
- Back to guest house and start explaining what I need. No one there really speaks English well enough. Guy say "Yes, I do" when I ask him for a letter and then we sit there for an hour. He is eating, looking around... well, I kind of expected his boss who speaks English needs to arrive.
- Boss arrives. Explanations, explanations, explanations... amazement, amazement, amazement... he starts writing. He has a first go. Not good. Second go. Not good. Third attempt. Not good. He goes to get his wife as his Khmer writing is not good enough. Takes one house to write a letter that I'm staying there and that things got stolen during night. No problem... have the letter... happy bunny!
- Police station, second visit... guy sits me down, reads the letter and starts asking me if I was out and if I took drugs and if I have money issues. Hmmm... this will not be so easy as expected. He said he will investigate and that I should come back at 2 with any witnesses I have! Witnesses?!? OK, I ask the Slovenian guy who has the bar to come with me and tell him that I went home yesterday evening... which is true! But at the same time, I decided to put 20 USD into the passport to make things flow nicer.
- Police station, 2 pm, third attempt... the guy is not there!!! We sit outside and he rocks up a bit later. And he asks what the hell am I doing there that he needs to investigate... I should come back tomorrow. Olalalalala... come on... another person starts asking him questions and I sit outside thinking what to do. Suddenly the guy comes back and invites me in. I give him the letter again and a business card from my last job. He looks rather happy with it. He gives me stuff to fill in and takes my passport. He sees the 20 and asks what is this? Hmmm.... money??? And he smiles and hands it to me. Speaking with locals here afterwords they could not believe it!!
- He gives me the police report and all is fine. But when I call the insurance company it turns out that when I come back I have to send them receipts of all these things and then they will give me compensation. Thank god I have enough money and I'm not strapped for cash.

- Mobile is gone and therefore I'm really not reachable anymore. until I buy a Vietnamese number next week.
- iPod Touch is gone and there is not more free Wi-Fi and quick emails each day. Sniff, sniff...
- I have to buy a new camera and I lost photos again!!! This time only two days and not soooo special... although all of them are special in a way.
- Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes oooooon,... or in Slovenian: Zivljenje in gre naprej.. in mi z vami! :)

Over and out

27 March 2010

All's well...

... that ends well.

First of all... no photos this time around. Why? Cause I've lend my camera to an American family on the way to small island (their battery ran out and I knew I'll be underwater the whole day) and when I got the camera back at the dive store, the memory card was blank.... bloody brilliant! But, I got their email address and they copied also my photos and they'll send them to my home. So, this is where the title is from...

But I was really looking forward to seeing them as I think some of them rank very high on the favourite photos I've taken list. Why? Let's go with stories which should be under them :)

1) I went from Siem Reap to Battambang with a boat and the boat meanders through floating villages and them on a small river through proper country side. Amazing scenery and a very interesting experience. But since it is a dry season in Cambodia at the moment the waters are low and we had to go out of the boat a couple of times and push the boat as it got stuck on the river bed. When I first went in I was a bit sceptic about the cleanness of the water... it would not be me if I wouldn't go out from the boat where the river was the highest, so that only my head was out. And then... in for a penny, in for a pound... took a swim to a great delight of locals :) I'm glad to report that I have no rashes and all is well :)

2) In Battambang I met Yali who works as security at the market and he is a great guy. He took me to his house for all meals during the 2 days there and around the villages and into a proper Khmer disco (I always had an amazing view of the place since I was a head taller than anyone else). It was really good to see the place with someone like him and all the children from the extended family were amazing!!

3) Now I'm a the coast at Sihanoukville and the first thing that I come across when I come here is.... a Slovenian guy who runs a bar named.... you got it... Slovenija. :) Not only that, the same evening another Slovenian guy came there and he is from the same part of Slovenia as I am. During the summer he lives is Slovenia, making cheese on the high alpine pastures and during winter he escapes to SE Asia... a character, what can I say...

4) I got my PADI licence!!! Wiiiii... I went to Koh Rong for a couple of days and went diving. Koh Rong is a small island with couple of very small villages and amazingly stunning. Divine beaches and pristine jungle with cobras, boas... And on the day we arrived the village celebrated a wedding.... OMG - music was ear deafening and also the music that was playing... let's just say that the western music they were playing is the worst kind of electro/techno music imaginable. At least now I have the answer to the question: Who the hell listens to this! :)
Anyway, didn't get much sleep but had fun observing the locals with the instructor and an English girl who was also doing the course. They were really good fun and when I was with these two guys I felt like in Belgium. Why? Cause he was from Belgium and was speaking and behaving exactly like Wouter (guy from the student organisation I was involved in) and she looks and behaves exactly like Lies (again... student organisation).

5) On the way back from the island we got the pier and the local were excited that we need to leave soon... why we thought? There was a guy sitting in an ice box in water with loads of ice in it. He was actually a guy who works for the dive shop and was good fun... but whilst we were at the sea he was fixing the incinerator (zazigalnica odpadkov) on the island and one of the locals turned it on by accident. How can it happen - let's say that safety is not a primary concern when building things like this here. The guy was badly burned and we all felt sooooo much for him on the way to main land. 2 hours by slow boat and quite big waves. Thank god a guy from the divers had morphine and could ease his pain... I was then speaking with them and they said that sure, there is a fast boat or even a helicopter, but there is no medical insurance that would cover this! But, it ended well as it turns out that yes, the burns are over a large part of body, but all except the hand are first degree. And even the hand will be OK.

6) Sea food is delicious and BBQ fish are just divine here. Today I had 10 small lobsters for lunch... 2 dollars. MMmmmmmmm.... dinner is baracuda.

18 March 2010

I shall not dwell...

... too much on all the things that happened in these few days! Some stories are in the comments of the newly posted photos.

Just to say that I haven't felt so relaxed for a long time. If I steal a slogan of one of the most recognisable companies on this planet, which still hasn't found its way to Cambodia: I'm loving"it!!!

13 March 2010

A bit...

... just a bit more of difficult stuff and a note that there are photos posted on Pobarvani Trenutki.

This is a poem from the Tuol Sleng Museum, which was the torture prison under the Khmer Rouge regime. Needless to say it was not written in the prison or by anyone who was there... no one survived!

- - - - - - - - -

The New Regime

Poem By Sarith Pou in Corpse Watching

No religious rituals.
No Religious Symbols.
No fortune tellers.
No traditional healers.
No paying respect to elders.
No social status.No titles.

No education. No training.
No school. No learning.
No books. No library.
No science. No technology.
No pens. No paper.

No currency. No bartering.
No buying. No selling.
No begging. No giving.
No purses. No wallets.

No human rights. No liberty.
No courts. No judges.
No laws. No attorneys.

No communications.
No public transportation.
No private transportation.
No traveling. No mailing.
No inviting. No visiting.
No faxes. No telephones.

No social gatherings.
No chitchatting.
No jokes. No laughter.
No music. No dancing.

No romance. No flirting.
No fornication. No dating.
No wet dreaming.
No masturbating.
No naked sleepers.
No bathers.
No nakedness in showers.
No love songs. No love letters.
No affection.

No marrying. No divorcing.
No martial conflicts. No fighting.
No profanity. No cursing.

No shoes. No sandals.
No toothbrushes. No razors.
No combs. No mirrors.
No lotion. No make up.
No long hair. No braids.
No jewelry.
No soap. no detergent. No shampoo.
No knitting. No embroidering.
No coloured clothes, except black.
No styles, except pajamas.
No wine. No palm sap hooch.
No lighters. No cigarettes.
No morning coffee. No afternoon tea.
No snacks. No desserts.
No breakfast (sometimes no dinner).

No mercy. No forgiveness.
No regret. No remorse.
No second chances. No excuses.
No complaints. No grievances.
No help. No favours.
No eyeglasses. No dental treatment.
No vaccines. No medicines.
No hospitals. No doctors.
No disabilities. No social diseases.
No tuberculosis. No leprosy.

No kites. No marbles. No rubber bands.
No cookies. No popsicle. No candy.
No playing. No toys.
No lullabies.
No rest. No vacations.
No holidays. No weekends.
No games. No sports.
No staying up late.
No newspapers.

No radio. No TV.
No drawing. No painting.
No pets. No pictures.
No electricity. No lamp oil.
No clocks. No watches.

No hope. No life.
A third of the people didn't survive.
The regime died.

12 March 2010


... by the change! But in a positive way of this makes sense. :)

It is hot and noisy and chaotic and I love it! I'm just a bit afraid that i have settled in too quickly as a feel perfectly safe everywhere. But that is mostly due to the incredibly nice and friendly Cambodians. Of course they always ask if you want a ride on the moto or tuk tuk but that is what makes their modest living. But they always smile and are not pushy... They talk even when they know they will not make business. And the children are by far the best in their fearlessness and how they approach people. And even if a lot of them are very poor. All people seem have this charming smile... One has to wonder what the smile was like before... Before 1970 when the events which led to a raveged country started.

But at the same time one could argue that it is exatcly this national personality which allowed for the attrocities of pol pot a bit more than 30 years ago. A nation which trusts and is happy... I know, way over simplfied but anyway.
At least I was a complete tabula rasa on Cambodia before a girl of a Cambodian descent told me a few things. I mean, sure I knew Pol Pot was a baddie but that was more or less it! I had no clue that he basically tortured the whole population and reduced it by a bit more than one third, yes 1/3, yes 33% (only estimates, but this is the most commmon one) in just 3, yes three, years!!! and methods used were just horrific. I've asked myself many times before how come ppl can be so - there isn't even a word strong enough for it! But visiting the killing fields and reading a book on history from 1965 onwards just make you wanna sit down and cry! If I always come exceptionally moved from the WW1 museum in Slovenia where I was brought up, then this has overshadowed it by a good margin!!!

Anyway, to end on a "positive" note... I love my first days and there has been spool much positive. But today was just too powerful to write down everything else I wanted. Next time...

P.S.: I don't seem to be receiving text messages although I can send them. Use email if you need me... but it may take timeeeee

07 March 2010


... na angleščino za nekaj mesecev.

Ko bom potoval, po blog pač update za vse in ne samo za Slovence. Za večino vem, da to ne bo problem, za ostale pa... tako, kot sedaj Angleži berejo moj blog... Google Translate :)

So, here we go... the room is more or less empty and things more or less in order. There are still things I need to get (the most important being my credit card which was reissued by my bank last week - bloody good timing!) and there are still people I need to say bye to and there is a person who I need to say bye to.
Whilst packing I also found out that I have smartly taken all my trekking shoes back to Slovenia, so my old fateful Adidas will walk the country where they were originally made.

05 March 2010

Prebudil se je rano...

... sosedov bosopet...

Od danes pa vsaj do sredine junija bo prebujanje veliko lazje! Edini dan, ko se moram zgodaj prebuditi je 17 april, ko pride na "obisk" familija! In takrat se bom sigurno rad prebudil zgodaj.

Sedaj pa hop k stranki za pol dneva (firmi sluzim denarcke do zadnjega) in potem laptop - check, mobitel - check, firmina kreditna kartica - check, pass za firmo - check, hlace z riti in srajco v nahrbtnik - check, kavbojke in majico nase - check in wiiiiiii...

03 March 2010


... vrtiljak - preteklost (več različnih obdobji), napakirana sedanjost in nedoločena prihodnost so se napokale v en teden!

Ampak vem, da nisem edini in da imajo nekateri večje, hitrejše vrtiljake! Naj se lepo odvrti...

01 March 2010

Podatki, podatki,...

... podatki vsepovsod! Firme, državne službe in celo posamezniki smo postali pravi hrčki. Ne samo da produciramo več in več podatkov, ampak te podatke tudi hranimo. Vendar pa velika večina vsega tega obilja ne zna niti pregledati malce drugače, kaj šele si odpreti vrata do novih informacij... informacij, ki niso č r k o v a n e, napisane z VELIKIMI TISKANIMI, krepke ali poševne. No ja, več dela zame. ;)

Ta teden je v Economistu poseben fokus namenjen prav podatkom... zanimivo branje za vsakogar, ki je vsaj malce vržen na analize in odkrivanja korelacij.

P.S.: Danes je bil zadnji ponedeljek za kar nekaj tednov, ko sem moral zjutraj zgodaj vstati, da grem v službo! Mater je bil lep dan! Jutro je pa sploh bilo eno lepših v Londonu...