Well, I'm finally here! It's raining here in Kampong Chhnang. It does that alot. But it's cool coz I'm already soaked through with sweat anyway. It's been an amazing experience so far! Our accomodations have been relatively posh (reminds me a bit of the ol Noble Hotel in Lander) but we will be moving out to host families in two days. The language training is going nicely and I'm learning quite a bit. I can order food, ask where the bathroom is, introduce myself and tell folks where I'm from and talk about my family. The food is one of the best parts here. I can eat like a king for 5000 riel...about $1.25. We got a bit of a tourist markup from one restaurant but when we considered that it amounted to around a quarter, it was hard to get upset. Only one bummer so far. I had my nice leatherman tool out to repair a fellow trainee's jacket zipper and left it on my table. This was an error in judgement as the next day after returning from class it was gone. Chalk it up to a learning experience!
Today we did a practice run to the market here in KC. I'll have to take some pictures of a market someplace because words won't do it proper justice. Try to picture Blade Runner without all the skyscrapers and flying cars and you'll get an idea.
Speaking of flying cars, the traffic here is something else. Most people get around on scooters called Motos and there are apparently only suggested rules for driving. While there are plenty of accidents to be had, mostly this chaotic ballet of busses, trucks cars, motos, Tuk Tuks (little motorcycle drawn carriages) and bicyclists is managed quite normally by everyone. This may be the only place I've ever been that the horn was used to simply announce that you were approaching instead of an attack on a fellow motorist.
I'll try to get my crap together and post some photos soon. Right now I'm still living out of a suitcase and have no room to set up the computer and what not. Besides, packing and unpacking things is a pain in the ass!
I'll get into some of the people stuff on my next couple of posts. There are some really fine people here with me ás well as those helping us to learn the languages and the customs.
All in all...like I said, it's a crazy, awesome overload of the senses!
When next you hear from me I'll have transitioned to my host family where I'll stay for the remainder of the training period.