Siem Reap ~ Roadside Houses and People Viewed from a Tuk-Tuk

I’ve spent a lot of time on the day buses here in Cambodia. I’ve seen the indescribably extensive amount of trash littering every single inch of dirt along the roads, in the cities and sometimes in the restaurants. Papers, wrappers, cans, bottles, tickets, plastic, socks, shoes, shirts, food garbage, leaf clippings, composting itself under the feet of the oblivious locals. I see them sweeping up the dust in front of their shops or houses more than I see them pick up the rubbish. It’s not like the ground has become trash, but it seems to be moving in that direction in certain places, especially markets, or roadside stops. Despite the trash situation, it isn’t completely without charm. Some of that trash gets burned in random fires, producing a not-unlikeable, but definitely polluting smell. The smell is comforting in an unpleasant way. Smoke surrounds the road in some places, not the seemingly edible smoke of BBQ’s, but a mixture of plastic, palm leaves and cardboard. The houses are all on stilts, giving an extra room, that is purely shade, usually with a few hammocks. Small shops wait with supplies of strange chips, and always Pringles, sugary or salty treats, squid jerky and selected beers. Trotting along in my Tuk-Tuk at about 30 mph, I caught pictures in a bouncy manner, so they are purely glimpses of the street.

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Phnom Penh ~ Walking Around

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The barbershop, a place for men to be themselves.

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This little girl almost certainly lives on the streets every night. Her mom was begging. There was a large cardboard area situated near some unidentified junk.

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Fried Chicken Heads. Can’t imagine much meat on those tiny little things!

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This man is using a jackhammer without shoes on an open street.

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She started to hold up the baby to me like Michael Jackson held up Blanket on that balcony to the press. They were waving and smiling as soon as they saw the camera.

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They’re not impressed by the camera. They were at the night market nibbling steamed corn. Right after we left these kids, we found a kitten stuck in a trash bag style glue trap for rats. A local helped us get gloves and some gasoline. We soaked the glue off the cat and washed him. The man who helped us took away the little cat after and said, “Don’t worry, it’ll be okay.”

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A local tuk-tuk driver named Chay.