BootsnAll Travel Network

It’s all the little things that count…

My mom-away-from-home

So I got up at 6am today to catch my bus at 6:45 – Phnom Penh to Bangkok (total 14hrs). On the bus, I’m seated next to a mother and her baby boy who is absolutely adorable. Anyway, so at our first rest stop the mother (who doesn’t speak a word of English) puts the baby in my arms and actions out that she will buy something to eat. I nodded my head and smiled. A few minutes later, she returns with a bag full of grilled bananas. The mother literally placed a banana right in front of my mouth…. I couldn’t say no. Just as I was finishing it she pops another one in front of me. I gave her a big smile and said “Awkun” (Thank you in Khmer). The grilled bananas were quite good might I add 🙂

So anyhow, it was just about lunch time when we took our second stop. The bus stops at a small local restaurant out in the middle of no where and we all get off. The mother actions out again with her hands “to eat”. I responded “Yes, but I will go to the toilet first”. As soon as she heard the word toilet she grabs me by the arm and directs me the right way. Ok so here comes the funny part….So she opens the bathroom door, steps in and signals for me to come in with her – so I did. She points at the “squat toilet” and gives me the ok to go ahead – so here I am ready to relieve myself and she’s doing the same thing but on the actual floor right in front of me. Awkward? Maybe just a little because i didn’t expect that at all.

So after all that, she takes me into the restaurant and sits me down at a table with other locals. She leaves to order up some food – there are 5 massive pots in the main kitchen and I could see her from afar pointing at a few… She returns with a beef dish, fish dish, veggies and rice. They all were delicious! I tried to ask her what the dishes were called but she couldn’t understand me – so I just said “very good” – she agreed and poured more fish onto my plate 🙂 haha…just like what my mom would do! The mother wips out her money to pay for the food but I insisted and covered it.

On our third stop – the mother buys a large baguette, breaks it in two and offers a half to me. I couldn’t stop smiling. I kept thinking to myself (while eating my baguette) “Wow this is amazing! She is amazing!” She was my mom-away-from-home for that 14 hrs on the bus, always making sure I was ok! At times during the bus ride, she also held my hand, spoke to me in Khmer (even though I couldn’t understand – i enjoyed it), played me some Khmer music videos from her cell phone, etc….

In addition to my experience, I had a guy friend who had trouble crossing the street in Phnom Pehn.  Traffic in this city is insane! Crazy motorbikes/cars speeding down the road (here in Asia the cars come first then pedestrians) and most of the time they will drive around you rather than stop.  A local man took notice of his trouble and took my friend by the hand and assisted him to the other side.

It’s these little things that count and mean a lot……that speaks a whole lot for the Cambodian people.

When we finally arrived at the Poipet Border – I wished her well and said goodbye. She wanted me to come with her but I told her I had to stay on the bus to cross over to Thailand. I will miss her.


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