somebody once told me that they thought i wouldn’t get road rage. a stranger, of course. anyone who knows me knows how ragey i get during transit. seriously, just let me get from point a to point b.
i get rage at pedestrians when i’m walking. rage at pedestrians when i’m driving. rage at drivers when i’m walking. rage at drivers when i’m driving. just rage. so much rage.
more recently, i’ve taken to biking as my main mode of transportation. every day, multiple times a day, i’ll bike up next to other bikes, motos, tuktuks, cars, basically anything with wheels to glare “are you serious?” most of the time i’m wearing shades and you can’t even see my eyes, but it makes me feel better.
biking in phnom penh is dangerous. i’m sure biking in any city is dangerous. but it’s a millions times more dangerous when nobody’s paying attention to anything. two stories to illustrate (don’t tell my mum).
a couple months ago, i was on my way home at night. i was making a left turn at one of the most ridiculous intersections in town (literally vehicles coming from all directions) when the front wheel of my bike collided with a back wheel of a moto (where the heck did the moto even come from? seriously.). my bike was swept from under me but i somehow managed to land on my feet. i looked around and the three cops on the corner were just hanging out like “hey, what’s up.” the moto was long gone so i just picked up my bike and went on my way home.
this past week, i was on my way to the gym in the morning. i was late and weaving in and out of traffic when my handlebar got caught on a tuktuk driver? maybe? i’m not even sure what happened. but one second i was on my bike and the next, i was hitting the road. my light broke and my shades got warped, but despite having fallen palms down, over my bike, i didn’t get a scratch. again, i got up and looked around, made eye contact with multiple people that were just hanging out like “hey, what’s up.” the car behind me didn’t really know what to do, so i waved it along, got back on my bike and went on my way to the gym.
getting anywhere in this city is rage-inducing. the hot sun, all the noise, putrid smells, shitty roads, vacant drivers, the list could go on. despite all that, i still swear by biking in this city because it’s the fastest way to get from point a to point b. and in the end, when the weather outside is literally trying to kill you, that’s all that matters. get me inside. and get me the loudest horn you can find for my bike.
i passed through bangkok en route a trip to korea a couple months ago. there are direct flights to seoul from phnom penh everyday, but when i was booking my ticket for the trip a few months prior, i couldn’t imagine forking over a couple hundred extra dollars for the convenience of a direct five hour flight from this city to that city.
my efforts to save that couple hundred bucks were all for naught when i missed a flight (for the first time in my twenty something years of traveling) and had to pay all sorts of ridiculous fees to book a flight for the next day. i’m still trying uber hard to boycott airasia for the grief they caused me that day and managed to go a whole trip after that without using their services (i totally caved in buying flights to boracay this christmas). i’m still young enough and consequently poor enough to deal with budget airlines and all the bullshit that comes with them.
BUT (there’s a silver lining here) i got to eat another full day’s worth of thai food and hang out with a new, old friend during the accidental layover. the following thought is inspired by him. there’s something to be said about the frugalness that is spurred by living on your own. for some weird reason, you forego the comforts you would allow yourself in a not-living-on-your-own situation and switch to survival mode. do i need a drying rack? how long can i go without turning the AC on? how many meals in row can i eat cereal for?
i now live with my sister who reminds me that the above mentioned things aren’t normal. why didn’t you just buy a drying rack? why don’t you use your AC more often? why wouldn’t you eat real food for dinner?
why people live in survival mode when they’re living on their own, i don’t know. i guess you could call it laziness - if you’re a negative nancy kind of person. or selflessness - if you’re whomever negative nancy’s positive counterpart is. “omg i’m so selfless than i don’t do normal people things, but i’m totally normal when i’m around other people.”
more new outlooks on life prompted by sister moving here coming soon.