For a week, I was away in Cambodia on a business trip. This was my longest trip away from the boys. Initially, I was quite worried that they would not be able to adjust with my absence, especially Jaden, since he's a sticky-molly BUT they were alright :) And I was so glad to hear that Jaden sticks to papa like a glue...haha....Papa, now you know how I feel when I've to be there for Jaden when he bathes, change, eat, sleep.....basically everything!
It was a good break away from the kids for once. Anything longer than 1 week would have caused my heart to miss family dearly but 1 week was just nice.
I arrived Phnom Penh on a Sunday (21/9) morning flight and upon arrival, I was cheated RM10 by the immigration officer. Since it was my first time to PP, I wasn't sure whether there were any charges imposed at immigration counter. I asked the officer 'What is it for?' but he pretended that he couldn't hear or could not understand English. Anyhow, now I learnt my lesson. Later, I was surprised to see my colleague at the arrival hall. Asked him why he came, and he said that he was worried that something would happen to me.....haha....didn't know that I was that naive!
The company driver fetched us to the 'low-ya' 3 star hotel, Holiday Villa, which is owned by Malaysians. My Malay colleagues chose the hotel as they provide halal food and the morning sahur before they puasa. The hotel is located in the city center and many eateries are within walking distance and the famous Central Market is also within the vicinity.
Once we reached the hotel, I literally dropped my luggage bag in the room and headed off to see Phnom Penh city with my friend, Lynnette and her family, who have been staying there for 7 years. A long time to stay in a 3rd world country, in my opinion. Well, I guess in life, one has to give and take - in their case, I would say staying as an expat is a good opportunity whereby the fringe benefits include a bungalow, driver, 2 maids, international schools for the children, etc...
There's nothing much to do in PP except eating and shopping. I have the opportunity to try Cambodian food (which is similar to Thai and Vietnamese cooking), fusion, halal Malaysian food, halal Khmer food, Vietnamese, Japanese, fast food and North Korean.
Also, things are relatively cheap at the Central and Russian market, so much so that I bought so many gifts for the little ones and family.
Despite all the 'fun' shopping (I was shopping till the wee hours before my morning flight on Saturday, 27/9), my heart grieved at the condition/state of living of the people in the country. There are times when Lynnette would come after work to bring me for a coffee at a nice place and I notice Cambodians sleeping with their child on the street. Women with babies are begging almost everywhere and street children are roaming the streets, smoking and doing what-not.
And our children in Malaysia are so pampered and spoilt because they are so precious to us.....just a thought