Cambodian Time

I am impatient. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who are late. People who have decided their time is more important than yours. People who say they are going to meet up with you and then don't come, don't call and obviously...don't care.

However, I have had to learn (a little bit) to be patient in Cambodia. The first day we arrived, we crossed over from Thailand with no problems, entered Cambodia fairly painlessly and then went to our bus which would take us to Siem Reap (home of Angkor Wat). Unfortunately, when you take a bus between countries, oftentimes you can't stay on one bus; you have to transfer once you cross the border and you end up using two different bus companies. We were told that the ride from the border to Siem Reap would take about 3 hours and that we would arrive around 5 pm. This seems simple enough -- we need to leave by 2 pm to make it on schedule.

We arrived at the border at 12:30 pm. There were about 5 of us and we were the first ones to the bus. The guy said, "lucky you, you are the first ones on the bus, you can pick whatever seat you want." We thought that was great. Then he said, "we are waiting for another group of people who are crossing the border now. We will leave when they get here. It should be about a half an hour". A half an hour went by. A few more people got on the bus. Then another half an hour went by, and a few MORE people got on....etc. This lasted until about 4:30 pm. We finally left then. We didn't end up arriving in Siem Reap until about 8:30 pm (we also stopped for dinner along the way as well).

The thing is, I don't mind arriving at 8:30. What I mind is that I got up at 6 to take a bus at 7 in order to sit and wait for...4 hours...at the border. If I would have known, maybe I would have taken the later morning bus, or maybe went and had some lunch instead of sitting on the bus thinking that we would be leaving "any minute".

This was not the end. From Siem Reap we took a bus to a town called Sihanoukville. A guy was supposed to come and pick us up from our hostel at 6:30 to catch a 7:30 bus. He ended up not coming until almost 8. We were freaking out...we didn't know if we should try to go to the bus station, whether or not we had missed the bus..or what. When we arrived at the bus station around 8:30, the bus didn't even leave for another half and hour! It's the same thing. I could have slept, or eaten (we didn't) or called my mom!

Anyway, I won't go on and on, but this has happened several more times over the last week and it is hard for me to get "used to" it. I mean, if the bus isn't leaving until 9, why can't I just come at 8:45? Why do you tell me it leaves at 7 when you KNOW it is not going to leave at 7? Do you think it EVER leaves on time? Or is "on time" actually 9? I don't know what they are thinking.

Have you ever been someplace where they are on "island time" or the equivalent? Do you cope well with that? How do you feel about tardiness?

1 comment:

  1. kyria my niece is going to cambodia tonightwould it not be soo cooool if you happened to be close, where are you exactly find her on facebook please eileen tunell she is one of my friends i will tell her you are there too jennie


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