January 5th, 2010

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January 5 CAMBODIA

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

It just gets better and better. Pnom Penh is what Saigon used to be when it was called the Paris of S.E.Asia,  as I remember it in the sixties. It has the same lay out and architecture but in contrast to Saigon they have not covered every  square inch of the former colonial estates with concrete high rises. I love Pnom Penh. First thing I did was to rent a bicycle and I have probably covered more of Pnom Penh since I arrived at 3 p.m. than the average tourist would by foot and tuc-tuc in a few days. I can stop when something comes in my sites and snap a photo.

The main difference I so far see between Vietnam is that the language is in Sanskrit, the religion is Therevada or Hinayana Buddhism. The architecture of the temples, small house front shrines, remind me of the Balinese Hindu style.  Also the homes in the Mekong estuary are built on stilts, like Indonesia and Malaysia.  

I have not met up yet with my Gig Harbor parish friends.  I am anxious to learn of our parish priest’s mission here. Last night I went to dinner with my new Quebecois friends, Allain and Pierre. Pierre has just spent two months on a film documentary in Burma. His wife and business partner is also a twin, and I learned a few things from Piere about the ideosyncracies of twins that struck a familar note but had never realized that they are unique to twins. Two new precious friends and I hope we’ll soon  meet again.