Full circle

I’ve gone full circle. I’m back the hotel where I started in Phonm Penh.

The taxi here was a disaster. After we refuelled (which he asked me to pay because he didn’t have any money) and my 50USD fare, his car mysteriously stopped working properly. Another taxi was arranged. 

And this taxi picked people up, dropped them off. I was God knows where, wondering if I’d ever get to PP. 

Eventually, after a journey that took the same as the bus – I arrived nearly six hours later, as opposed to the customary four in a private taxi. My driver also got lost, and although I don’t know Khmer, I could tell he was angry about it.

The volunteer coordinator met me, I unwrapped my painful arm and the blood gushed everywhere. I cleaned it with bottled water, wrapped a flannel and a dressing gown belt around it and we went straight the hospital. The ‘usual’ dr wasn’t there. So a guy that looked about 12, drowning in his doctor coat, cleaned the wound wordlessly and wrapped it using a ‘fake’ skin. I was expected to come the next day and see the other dr. 

In that time I copped abuse from the Australian teacher for leaving a day earlier than anticipated. I have no idea why. I only had enough time to pay my bill, pack and the taxi was there. And I was keen to get close to the city.

Since then it seems the Kratie project has used my accident as a catalyst for all the problems and issues there. A Skype chat that had been planned for weeks was fucked around and the tidbits of information I received sounded like I was the social pariah. I know that’s not actually true, there have been miscommunications and break downs since the project started. But head office hasn’t listened or done anything. Everyone is blaming everyone else. I was just happy to teach and live in my little guesthouse. If problems arose I spoke directly and assertively but all the political bullshit is draining and frankly boring. 

Being in PP, I’m close to the airport, today I realised just how easy it would be to jump on a plane, get home. Be with my children, be in my own country.

But my husband is less keen. To compromise I thought if I stayed a bit longer touring around he might feel differently. Although my heart wants to go home, my head is asking can I stand the look of disdain and misery from my husband? 

I saw the consultant at 2pm. She’s told me its best to stay here for the week. My arm is hot to the touch, it’s weak and vulnerable to infection. And carrying things is too hard. She is considering further tests, but first she wants to see my arm heeling. I was on the wrong antibiotics as I tried to express to my counterparts in Kratie, but they just wanted me to take the pills – but not pain relief. I’m sure if their nerve endings were at the surface, they would want painkillers too.

So I’m kind of fed up with the politics and now taking the shit.

I’m very sore, I’m sweating, sat next to a pool that looks even more beautiful and I can’t go in.

I’ll miss more valuable teaching time as well as entering a particularly hostile and awkward working environment. I ask myself, as a volunteer do I really need this?

I’ve come to Cambodia and enjoyed its offerings. The culture and history. Even my stint at teaching showed me a confidence and knowledge I long thought dead.

But I feel old, tired, grubby all the time. I’m restless at being told to wait a week. My insurance reimburses me so my outgoings are more than I budgeted for. Which in turn will further agitate my husband.

If I hadn’t have been wearing a helmet, I would have died or be pretty much dead. My helmet was destroyed on impact. Considering this I feel further committed to my family. But even a near fatal accident didn’t change my husband’s disposition. That speaks volumes really.

So full circle and still very much alone. 

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