14 May 2010

Border Crossing

The first part of this trip was spent travelling to Cambodia by land!  Land borders are always interesting places full of a very different hustle and bustle as found at an airport.  It appears very chaotic on the surface with much less control.    P5051196

There are the street vendors trying to make a buck, the kids looking around for a pocket to pick and the big casinos on the Cambodian side, enticing Thais to make this crossing everyday to gambol away their life savings!  You have to walk from counter to counter, getting your passport stamped as you exit customs in Thailand, going through the health check in a tin shack, and then walking through no mans land to enter Cambodia!  Fortunately, we had ‘porters’ for our backpacks and we watched as they were wheeled away in a handcart to our bus in Cambodia and hoped they would have a safe journey! 

The kids here are old hands at spotting the fact we are all frazzled from the bus ride and that we are still burdened with filling forms while making sure our bits and pieces of hand luggage are safe.  As we were walking, I spotted a couple of kids hassling Jane who was a little ahead of us, they were hanging on her arm and as it turned out later, going through her bag and making off with a purse which unfortunately carried her bank cards. 

This unfortunate incident was quite disturbing for all of us.  Jane fortunately realised they were missing at lunch time and Dino, our guide was invaluable in helping her start the process of cancelling her cards and organising for new ones to be sent through.  This incident also brought us a lot closer instantly.  We had only just met, but we came together to help and support Jane and give her various options for getting access to money while this was sorted. This little incident was one of those great examples of the fact that travellers always look after each other.  We had barely met, but we were willing to lend Jane a hand till she was able to arrange her finances. 

Only he that has travelled the road
knows where the holes are deep.
-Chinese proverb

No comments: