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  • The glory and tragedy of Cambodia

    Took Took v. Adam Shirley

    I’m all took tooked out, man. Took tooks are the taxis of South East Asia. It’s a moped or moto attached to a passenger carraige. I think I’ve heard, ‘sir, took took!’ or ‘hey guy, took took!’ or even ‘lady, took took!’ more times than I’ve blinked these past few days. Telling them you already have a driver works much better than just saying no.

    But on these fun, strange little taxis we’ve traveled to glorious ancient temples of Angkor Wat, local markets swarming with life and color, royal palaces bursting with riches, genocide museums, and uncountable assortments of tourist traps peppered with hawkers and beggers.

    It’s amazing that most of this sprang up in the last two decades, with 1/4 of the population wiped out and the rest suffering pshycological damage and a severe lack of education. Humans will endure. Crazy power-mongers, sociopaths, or self profesed ‘do-gooder’ revolutionaries cannot completely destroy the march of civilization… thank goodness. But they sure can set it back a generation or two.

    Due to the wars/revolutions of the seventies and eighties, Cambodia is still largely undiscovered. Unlike Thailand, India, all of South America, and probably most of the rest of the world tourism and globalization is still just getting started around here. So, if you’re going to check our Cambodia, do it now! Before it turns into another sterile tourist-churning machine. Just keep an eye out for land mines…

    • dawn

      hey augie,

      sounds wonderful! the filipino version of the took took is called a tricycle — i loved riding in them, although sometimes the exhaust was too much. i also could smell the rice paddies — eve always said that growing up she thought our house smelled like rice pudding and that was exactly how i felt it smelled in the rural areas of the philippines. ah, now i’m all nostalgic! :) what a wonderful trip — have a great time! i’d love to get to cambodia someday…


    • krish

      Sweaty Crap Dude!

      You’re a pretty good writer, almost as funny as me. Jet lag isn’t that bad, of course i wouldn’t know, but it can’t be that bad. Anyways you’ll see a kick-ass music rig when you get home. I love you Lada!


    • Augustin

      Hey dawn and krish!

      So you know what I’m talking about when I say this country smells of sticky rice!? Must be those rice paddies!!

      Krish, did you get my email about Windows 7? Don’t waste your time installing XP… anyhow, thanks for the kudos… that means a lot to me.

      See you soon!


    • Mom

      What fun! Dad and I are driving in the car on our way home from Kiawah and I am reading him your stories. I agree with Krish — you’re a great writer! You can work on the spelling at a later date. We want more! Today is Patty’s birthday and also Honeybear’s birthday (14=98 years old!). We love you! Hugs to Lada from us.

    • Olaronke


      I randomly checked your site today and Lo and behold, you’re back to writing. Yay! It’s always a pleasure to live vicariously through you and Lada. I’m so glad that you’re able to be in Thailand with her. I just know you are having the best time. I miss being around you guys. I wish you all the best. Tell Lada I said hi! And keep up the good writing.


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