Friday, February 19, 2010

Mr. Mab

Let me tell you about our good friend Mr. Mab. We arrived in Phnom Penh late at night and were taken to a few guesthouses run by the bus company. Finally we found one that we liked and it was Mr. Mab who showed us to our room, gave us a good price and finally managed to figure out how to use the air-con via a handful of about 5 remotes. He wished us a good night and told us that as well as security, he also drove a tuktuk and could take us anywhere in Phnom Penh for a good price - which we took him up on.

His tuktuk is not fast, in fact its incredibly slow, it leaks water and backfires, but its a great way to travel. We hired him for a whole day, and he took us all the way out to the Killing Fields, waited, then took us to a great restaurant near the Genocide Museum, and slept while we ate and while we were at the museum. Once we were done we found him playing a game similar to hacky (but with a shuttlecock type thing) with all the other tuktuk drivers, which he appeared to be a dab hand at - especially the back heel over the head which looked incredibly difficult to pull off.

On the way home he really wanted to show us his house, which was immaculate, and his kids - to us affectionately called Baby 1, Baby 2, and Baby 3, which we hung out with and played with for a while. We felt incredibly privileged that he would want to do this.

Later that night, after a few beers to take the edge off seeing the Killing Fields and Genocide Museum, we got back to the guesthouse and heard a party. We were told there was a "small party" going on for Chinese New Year, and when we poked our head in the door we see Mr. Mab in the centre of the dance floor carving it up. His face lit up when he saw us and he dragged us in and immediately arranged a few beers, taught us how to dance Cambodian style (which we proceeded to do rather poorly). He was supposed to be working, and had a wife and 3 kids at home - nothing changes the world over!

I reckon we could all learn a thing or two from Mr. Mab (and most of Cambodia for that matter), he always has a big smile on his face and the same answer to almost any question - No Problem! If you ever are in Phnom Penh, you have to seek him out!

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