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Cambodia to Bangkok

We were hassled constantly in Cambodia by children begging, people asking us for money, and hawkers trying to sell things. Everything was much more expensive, and it often felt like people were aggressive and really trying to rip us off. On one occasion when we were desperate for something to drink we bought a bottle of mineral water, took a big gulp, and discovered they'd sold us a mineral water bottle that they'd filled with sewage! So we were very glad to get on the bus to Bangkok.

The bus left early in the morning, as usual, and we staggered onto it, happy to be going back to civilisation. Everyone piled in until it was full, they tied our bags onto the roof, and set off. Five minutes later, however, it pulled into a makeshift garage and they set about jacking the fully loaded bus (everyone still inside, of course) up on loose sand and changing one of the wheels. It looked like they'd ran over a nail the previous day, but, of course, couldn't be bothered swapping wheels until now. So we sat there for an hour... and waited. Carita got into an argument with a guy who was kicking a dog in the head for fun, which seems to be a Cambodian pastime, and pissed off at being up early to drive around the corner, I complained about, well, everything I could think of. Finally, they managed to figure it out, and with a wheel on each corner once again, we continued on our merry way. But not for long. Five minutes later we ran out of road. Most of Cambodia is dirt tracks or graded roads, and it seemed that they were still in the process of building this one. There was a huge pile of earth right in the middle of it, and we had to sit and wait for another hour while a bulldozer turned up and flattened the road enough for us to pass. We still weren't feeling very well, and once more we had a couple of near projectile vomitting incidents but managed to control ourselves. This we put down to the "tasty" steak we'd had a couple of nights previously, which didn't really taste like steak (possibly explaining the lack of dogs around the streets).

The day dragged on, the roads deteriorated to farm tracks, but finally, we were getting so close to the Thai border we could smell the green curry. We crossed over, had our passports stamped, and bought a banana smoothie in civilisation from a Thai cafe. Another couple of bus changes later, and we were on our way, speeding down the smooth motorway to Bangkok. We stopped for a break at a petrol station and bought noodles with pork and spring rolls from some of the so-clean-after-where-we'd-been food stalls, then before we knew it we were back in old Bangers, walking down Koh San Road, and checking into a nice, clean room. We took badly needed showers - I'd stupidly been wearing a white shirt and it was completely red from all the dust, and we opened our rucsacs which had been on the roof to find they were totally full of sand. But it felt SO good to be back.

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