Thursday, June 9, 2011
It's nearly 7am on a Friday morning. The week flew by so quickly. The trip to Poipet to accompany a review mission was met with the same sweltering days in the Railway communities, hours spent in some of the most dismal living conditions I have ever witnessed: wooden shacks jammed next to each other, upon stilts surrounded by green and black water, smells upon smells. A summer intern, from a law school in Virginia, was sent along with us, and he asked me on the 8-hour ride to the border,"What's Poipet like?" I wanted to prepare him, wanted to explain that this was a far cry from shiny Seoul, where he had lived and worked for 5 years prior, but I just kept quiet. Later in the afternoon, when we sought shelter from the angry rain in a resident's home, I caught his eye as he watched the children run naked in the mud; he murmured, "Incredible."
Two and a half days, back and forth, to that community. Back in Phnom Penh. Then meetings, and a "big" meeting with major stakeholders that was a bit deflating. No concrete progress.
Anyway, it is Friday. And I have been listening a lot to the Kinks. This video from the Darjeeling Limited is my tribute to train journeys. I'm planning one right now for August, if only I can find a way to get my Kazakhstan visa without leaving Cambodia.