Rivers and Roads to Phnom Penh

Our boat stopped at a floating restaurant, with a bathroom aka hole in the wooden floor (which I had never been more thankful for) before the Cambodian border where we paid twenty-two American dollars for our Cambodian visas in preparation of the border crossing coming up. Normally, visas for another country are bound inside a passport, but Jordan and I applied for loose visas due to time constraints and instead of stamping the visas and giving them back, the woman simply took them. We asked if we would need them at the border and she said we were all set. We were suspicious, and then asked if we could just keep the visa as memorabilia. The woman said no, and left with no other choice, Jordan and I boarded the boat and headed for the Cambodian border.

Our boat docked at the border, where we (unsurprisingly!) needed our visas to cross! So Jordan and I were held on the Vietnam/Cambodia border for a solid hour while we tried to explain (charade) that the woman had taken our visas at the last stop. Meanwhile, our boat, with no lights and a tight schedule to arrive to Phnom Penh before dark, was waiting in the river with a full crowd. Finally, after standing by in one-hundred degree weather and floating in our own nervous sweat, someone called the visa office and gave us the go ahead. With that, we got back onto our boat, rode 5-hours, transferred to a van with 10 seats, 15 people and 15 backpacks, and rode through flooded, bumpy dirt roads for 4 hours with explosive diarrhea.

 

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