Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Entering Cambodia

We left Ho Chi Minh, and Vietnam, sadly, getting a public bus to Phnom Penh. The border crossing was far smoother than entering Vietnam from Laos, though the passport inspector shouted freely at local passengers and favoured me with extremely dirty looks. I wasn't sure whether he really hated me on sight or was trying to stifle a laugh (I don't think laughing figured in his life though) and the thought of wasting the rest of my life away in a Vietnamese jail for laughing at him did cross my mind. Instead I got through. We crossed through some noman's land where casinos were growing like gaudy mushrooms (only for the foreigners we were told) and entered Cambodia.

Again we were thrown back to a time of bamboo huts and dirt roads. The poverty was immediately obvious. Also obvious were the frequent signs denoting the offices of the Cambodian People's Party and FUNCINPEC, the ruling political parties. Corruption in Cambodia is in an entirely different league to Vietnam with these parties not only stealing, but not too worried when members of the opposition, the Sam Rainsy Party, are murdered. Naturally theywould have nothing to do with these deaths.


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