There are certainly some strange sights in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The love station might have been a motorbike shop, but it sure was a strange name to have, especially enshrouded in a nice pink heart. Jokes aside, they do have good prices on their motorbikes.
Similarly when i found myself at an indoor state of the art skatepark half an hour later, i found myself rather bemused. I expected diversity and difference, rather than this westernised parallel to my local shopping centre. Rather ethnocentric of me, i admit, but then, this is why i travel, to rid me of my preconceptions and cultural normalities. That and i was really getting shown up in the skating department, to my chagrin. I consoled myself with some frozen yoghurt.
While Phnom Penh is certainly more ‘modernised’ than the rest of Cambodia, there is still the cultural heritage and quirkiness that people love Cambodia for. It is very much its own country, despite their reliance on the dollar as currency. The capital is a blend then, a mixture of influences and cultures, a society still reeling and recovering from the atrocities it suffered in its still recent past.
Still, sitting in a shopping complex that could be twinned with any found back home, i found it hard to correlate with the living conditions i had stayed in with some local farmers just an hour down the road. The disparities were stark and readily apparent. And still, through this inequality and poverty, my new friends would always be smiling.
See you tomorrow,