In late September, Mike’s parents came to visit in Cambodia. This was a fantastic treat for us. They braved the long trek to the other side of the world, navigating endless plane rides and long layovers in random airports. They arrived just in time for a typhoon to come thru the country brining consistent downpour rain. Consequently, the streets became rivers with water knee deep. They got to fully emerge into Cambodian life on day one!
We were blessed by a fellow teacher who loaned us her car. We figured mom and dad would not want to fit all four of us on the moto, so it was nice to have a vehicle. Mike had not driven a car in about two years, so he was a little nervous figuring out how to manage the vehicle thru Phnom Penh streets filled with motos and chaos. Fortunately, the beginning of the week was during a holiday where the majority of the city population leaves for the provinces. So the traffic volume was less than normal.
We visited many of our favorite spots, showing mom and dad around the amazing city. It was fun to watch their expressions as they saw the food carts on the side of the road with cow legs, pigs, and chickens hanging on hooks. They saw over stuffed trucks with cargo stacked 20 feet up held by straining bungee cords. They watched as we drove by countless stores, pharmacies, and moto shops packed tight, side by side lining every street. Mom asked how we knew our way around because most streets look similar. Dad couldn’t say much other than “Interesting”, clearly fascinated by life in Cambodia.
We toured many of the restaurants we have come to love. Authentic Vietnamese Pho, Greek Souvlaki, pizza and taco egg rolls, Indian Curry (their favorite), Korean barbecue, and a few Khmer dishes. The Russian market was quite an experience for them: a giant market without any airflow, squeezing thru tight isles between shops with piles of clothing and various knick knacks for tourists to bring home.
Their visit was almost 2 weeks, which kept us from being able to visit some of the other parts of Cambodia like Kampot or Siem Reap, but the time was amazing. We are so grateful they were able to visit!