When to Drive on the Wrong Side of the Road, and 7 Other Things I’ve Learned

Kampot River view

  1. Times that you drive on the wrong side of the road: When you’re turning, when you’re “merging”, when you’re “yielding” (on that note, don’t ever yield. Just keep moving slowly.), when you just turned and can’t get back onto the right side again, when you need to get to a shop on the other side, or when its rainy season and the street is flooded and all rules are washed away.
  2. You never realize how often you have to go to the bathroom until you try to avoid going at all because there are so many rules… don’t flush the paper, sometimes don’t use paper, wash your bum but watch the strong jet stream, flush a few times, or don’t flush at all…
  3. $2 for a whole pot of coffee is apparently very “expensive” and “Western”.
  4. It’s ok to have coconut for breakfast. (This may not be entirely true, but I’m doing it anyway.)
  5. Numbers only go up to 5 and then you start adding: 1  –   muuy, 2  –   pii, 3  –   bai, 4  –   buhn, 5  –   phrum, 6  –   phrum muuy, 7  –   phrum pii, 8  –   phrum bai, 9  –   phrum buhn, 10 – dop, 11 – dop muuy, 15 – dop phrum, 16 – dop phrum muuy, 20 – m’pai
  6. You will shower with geckos, you will eat dinner with geckos, you will probably sleep with geckos.
  7. Wine might be the only thing in this country that costs more than it would in Denver, Colorado.
Surviving a Cambodian market, despite everyone's attempt to scare me off.
Surviving a Cambodian market, despite everyone’s attempt to scare me off.

8. Despite what they tell you, you will survive the local market. That is, if your definition of survival includes: being told the wrong price and having to barter, eating noodles with what you can only assume is hopefully curry, fish jumping out of bowls across the aisle because they’re still alive, and clutching your wallet as close to you as possible to avoid having sneaky teenage boys take it from you.

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