16 December 2010

Tales of the traffic.

Have to love Cambodian traffic!

I worked late today, and left school about 6.30pm (when I eventually was let out by the guard who had been off having dinner). If I don't leave by 4.30pm it's best not to leave until 6.30pm as Phnom Penh peak hour traffic is not fun! Anyway, shortly before I left an ambulance sped down the street past the school, then as I was about to leave one sped up the street in the opposite direction. Hmm! I pondered my choices. Should I take the back route (still mostly major roads) or should I take the main road (Mao Tse Tong)? Choices, choices, choices. I made the wrong choice! At least I think I did.

Mindful of the ambulances I'd already seen, I very cautiously made my way down to the main drag, and headed north along it. Traffic was heavy but still moving. Got through a couple of intersections and past Parkway OK, and hear more sirens. Another ambulance heading south. Then get to an intersection where there was some manual traffic direction in addition to the traffic lights. now that was interesting and took a little longer! To get through you had to sneak between two cars crossing the intersection at right angles to you, and hope they don't start moving while you're in the middle (even while you have the green light). Part of the problem is that you can turn right or left or go straight ahead all at the same time. That works OK during off peak times generally, but it can be a recipe for disaster during peak hours. More sirens and another ambulance heading south. Still moving, albeit slowly. Eventually made it to a major intersection that is about halfway home, and somewhat hopefully thought my troubles would be over! Wishful thinking. I forgot the "Mondial Centre". It's the season for parties, and this place is a major venue for parties for those who can afford it. Oh boy. There was some traffic control taking place, but its focus seemed to be getting Lexus's in and out of the centre, and who cares about the people just trying to get home! I have been caught at this spot before, so you'd think I'd have learned.

So, since I'm writing this post, I obviously made it safely home, and it really didn't take that long. Maybe 35 minutes (for a trip that takes 20 minutes outside peak hour). Could have been much worse. So where were the ambulances going? Who knows? Probably never know. I'm just grateful that I wasn't in need of them. I want to conclude this post by giving praise to God who truly does protect me as I travel on Phnom Penh roads. This doesn't mean I do stupid things, but I really do believe He protects me in this aspect of my life (as well as many others). Thanks Lord. I really appreciate it. And thanks to all those who pray for this aspect of my life here!


  1. All the other drivers said "Here she comes, let her through, God is on her side!"

  2. Unfortunately not Paula. Let them through only applies to large Lexus drivers! There is a definitely pecking order here, and it's based on size. The bigger your vehicle the more "respect" you command. My little moto (especially being Chinese rather than Korean or Japanese) comes fairly low in the pecking order!


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