23 Thaikarl - it gets dark when the power goes out

sitting in another internet cafe looking thru emails, just opened a compose window and everything went black.  the whole couple of blocks in the area went dark... oh well.  found another place here.
Tok had spaghetti napoli at a sidewalk restaurant.  first time.  she said it was "okay".  hundreds of motocycles were passing in front of us. it was sunset and soon after.  whole families of 4 people, lots of kids, teen agers and everybody else cruising the boulevard by the river.  amazing how they don't seem to crash into each other, everyone dodging trucks, bicycle rickshaws, cars and 3 wheelers.  i enjoyed a double espresso and a few "liberation" brand cigarettes.  no messy helmet laws or anti-smoking nazi's here.  most of the motorbikes don't even have plates.  nor do many of the cars.  they have paved a few more of the streets since last year.  many of the side streets are still rocks, dirt and trash.  trash is everywhere.  plastic bags are used for everything, and everyone drinks bottled water, but there are few trash cans, so it all goes on the ground.  an army of street sweepers and collectors comes around at night and picks up the piles.  well, much of it anyway.  little 8/9 year old kids cruize the sidewalks selling counterfeit books, home-made handbags, bracelets.  they hear "no" probably 700 times a day.  you will get an 8 year old with a smaller kid, who is dead asleep hanging from a cloth wrap come up to you and give you the most pained, plaintive expression and do the fingers to mouth gesture - "please sir" shake of the head, and look away and they are off to the next one.  instant smile when one of their friends walks up.  give when you feel like it, don't if you don't.  up to you.  but you will NEVER run out of beggars.
back to the hotel, watch a little tv.  my friend/driver Alee phoned to see if we were okay - he'll be picking us up at the hotel to take us to the airport.  if you ever come to phnom phen, i'll give you his phone number. he'll take good care of you, and knows trusty friendly drivers in other cities also.
did i tell you that when i sit composing these messages, that Tok sits beside me and edits my spelling and english?  she does.  ever faithful.

I'm in thailand at the moment. to be added or deleted from my travelogue, send request to this address. view previous posts at:  http://thaikarl.blogspot.com/

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