What started out as a trip into town at lunchtime to attend to some personal business, turned out to be a very interesting afternoon.
A friend had offered to pick me up at my office around 1.00 pm but shortly beforehand, called to say his moto had a puncture. He was at a fixer, the local term for any tradesperson, a few hundred meters along from me on National Road 5 so I set off on foot to meet him. This was not because I enjoy walking in the middle of the day but I had always been curious about this particular fixer.
His workshop consists of three decrepit beach umbrellas, a compressor, and a bucket of nuts, bolts and oddments as well as a tool kit. He himself appears rather elderly and has a list of physical disabilities that if he were from a developed country, would mean that he would be firmly and comfortable resting in the social safety net. His spectacles were very thick and were held together by wire.
The puncture was fixed in quick time and for less than a dollar. As we drove away, I could not help but think that in Cambodia, there a no people with disabilities just people with different abilities.
TIP FOR TRAVELERS
A few minutes later we arrived at the ATM at ANZ Royal Bank located at the Eastern end of the Phar Nat (Central Market) on Rue No 1.
As is often the case, I met a tourist who was mild panicked by the fact that to use the line from Little Britain, Computer says no! This is not an uncommon occurrence so here is what to do. directly opposite ANZ is the Canadia Bank. Between the two you should be able to access your cash. Failing that, there is a Western Union office at the Western end of the Market on the corner of Rue No 3.
By now, we were feeling a bit thirsty so we went from the ATM down to Rue No 3 and took a left to The Smiling Sky Bookshop for a cold drink. The shop is located near the Chayya Hotel. It has an extensive collection of books, sells hot and cold drinks, souvenirs, postcards and stamps. It is well worth a look.
Next stop was the White Rose for a sandwich and then onto Peace Book Shop on the campus of the University of Battambang........and that is where I had a real treat......more to follow.