Photo by RoadSmile
One of the most frustrating things for me in Cambodia is the transportation situation. Obvious issues include the traffic, how insanely busy it is, total disregard for sidewalks, and that street lights, one-way signs and traffic cops are merely a suggestion. These are all a pain, but the struggle I have is the lack of independence this creates.
I have been living in tuk tuks for the last three and a half years. Not actually living, that would be super uncomfortable, but tuk tuks are my preferred form of transportation here. For those of you who do not live in South East Asia, a tuk tuk is a glorified wagon dragged behind a mostly-functioning motorcycle.
There are few tuk tuk drivers that park near my apartment and are generally very nice guys. They drive safely, show me photos of their kids, and treat me respectfully. But, like any city, Phnom Penh has some not-so-nice guys. I have had a few run-ins with drivers that have made me want to pack my bags, because no matter how much Khmer I learn, this blonde, godzilla-like she-beast will never pass as a local. I am constantly jealous of my friends who don’t have to worry about some drunk d-bag trying overcharge them, or leading them into a head-on collision.
My solution? Bite the bullet and get a motorcycle. Over the years, I have referred a motorcycle as a death trap, crotch rocket, ball-sweat catcher (sorry), bad choice on wheels, mid-life-crisis-mobile, and overpriced vibrator. I wasn’t convinced and I was mostly sure I would die if I got on one. Then did get on one, and I’m not dead. So that’s a step.
My decision to get a trusty steed has not been a flippant one, and this comes after years of contemplation, a thousand questions, and a very kind offer from a friend to help me learn how to ride.
Here are a few I’m considering.
Photo by Moto123
Photo by Honda
Photo by Vespa
The moto hunt starts next week and I can’t wait to start driving again. Sorry mom, I promise I will always wear my helmet and be super duper careful.