Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cambodian Surprises

The preferred, and basically only currency in Cambodia is the greenback.  Price tags on trinkets and high end dresses alike are in dollars.  Cash registers reveal stacks of ones, fives and twenties and ATMs spit out crisp USD just like the Wells Fargo in my neighborhood.  The Riel, the Cambodian currency issued in April 1980,  never gained popularity and is only used for transactions under a dollar since US coins are not in circulation.  US currency gained strength in 1993 when the UN occupation injected large quantities of the dollar into the economy.

 Don't mix a cocktail in Cambodia if you're weary, have dry contacts or aren't paying attention, for you could very easily mistake petrol for a bottle of Johnny Walker Red.   Gasoline is sold on the side of the road in recycled bottles, and liters of whiskey, vodka and rum seem to be the favorite vessels. 

After traveling over 8,000 miles to one of the most sacred religious sites in the world Hollywood was still a loud echo in my ear.  During our tour of Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples our tour guide continually pointed out where Angelina Jolie stood while filming Tomb Raider.   I'm dismayed that American cinematic trivia can rival 5th century history in relevance.  Yesterday we hiked to a sacred waterfall where kings trekked to become gods, and Harrison Ford swam in Raiders of a Lost Ark

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