So it begins - finally all the preparations have come to an end. I wish all this would be much easier, I wish the thinking of country boarders would more and more come to a halt, but Southeast Asia (and many other parts of the world) prove something different. Anyhow, I had to foul the Chinese authorities for a first time and book various flights in order to get my desired visas and permits. All this sums up in reduced flexibility in regard to my itinerary.
Monday 1st April
Boarding an Airbus A380 is nice, you feel like going on a cruise ship, being one of 471 ants, a board of SQ345 ZRHSIN. The head steward looked an approximate meter up to me and said after taking a deep breath: ''You Ashton Kutcher!?'' Since I get this a lot, I played the game: ''No, Matthew, his brother.'' (I have no clue whether Ashton has a brother). Anyways, the Chief Steward was ''very honored to have me on board'' - so was I.
A great flight with perfect service and lots of comfort in economy class ended 12h later in SIN Changi Airport. Shortly after Silkair operated the connecting flight to Phnom Penh. There, a foreign feeling struck me, I felt exactly as a farmer from Lauenen (remote CH village) who would go to Zweisimmen (another remote CH village) - I felt, that I was never that far from home. Old record holder Muscat was outplayed significantly.
From Phnom Penh, a Bus took me towards Siem Reap, northern Cambodia. The ride was about 6hrs long and provided a great introduction to the country. We came across places and scenes from a different world.
We had several full-break wake up ''calls'', due to near-fatal accidents with either cows, children, TukTuks or monks. Later, when back in Phnom Penh, I will try to post a picture of the electrical installations down town - it will be hard to digest for all the Swiss...
Night and myself have arrived in Siem Reap. I will now try to grab some bowl of rice and later meet my former fellow student and friend Florian. Flo will spend the next ca. 4 weeks with me, this being the end of his trip, which he started some when in January...
In a sweaty and dirty hostel lobby - GH