A Bus of a Different Color-Part 2

Crumbling French Colonial buildings with laundry drying on the balconies greet us in Phnom Penh. The bus line we took from Ho Chi Minh City did not go to Sihanoukville, so we hired a Tuk Tuk to take us to one that did. Capitol Tours advertised air conditioned routes to the coast, so we bought our tickets for $4.25. (It's back to US currency here.) Little did we know that the almost five hour bus ride would be like driving through the fires of the underworld. At first, the whole crowded bus had no air conditioning, and opening windows merely blew the hot air around. The driver stopped to get our air conditioning fixed and after that it worked for everyone but us. Our seats, in the very back of the bus, were above the engine, and fiery puffs of air and exhaust shot out at us from beneath the seats. Toss in the fact that we were also right next to the bathroom? Best seats in the house… The only way I survived was to lose myself in Pico Iyer and continuously fan myself ferociously.

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