Han Solo

Han Solo

 

I was up, and running. Every day this week, as an experiment in fitting in short recovery runs and also in order to keep my exercise spreadsheet looking neat – no empty rows for rest days. I’d decided on a cut back week, so only 10 miles or so this morning, which was just as well because my BAFIKed legs had no more in them. I ran along the Han river, and I was on my own.

Jimmy with two fingers up, in a restaurant, surrounded by the remains of our meal
Jimmy demonstrates the drink.

Say no more. Loads of other people out using the riverside, which was great. I had time to book a place for my second night in Phnom Penh and grab a pizza, then hopped on the train to the airport. I asked if I could get the train, and Jimmy-at-the-hostel said ‘yes, or a bus’ and explained where the bus went from, but I’m sure that my train was quicker and cheaper – I had 4,400 t-money left, it costs less than that from Hongik University and only takes 45 minutes on the Arex commuter train. I was impressed that Kayak had sent an email reminder to remind me of my flight, though less impressed to later find they had sent ‘it may be 30 minutes late’ messages when both flights were on time, not that I’d paid any heed. The flight to Shanghai was two hours, then I had a couple of hours at Shanghai airport, spent in a stroll, a bit of tv coverage of the Shanghai masters tennis and my head in a book. The flight to Phnom Penh was just over 4 hours but gaining an hour in China and another in Cambodia meant I left after 4 but arrived before midnight. I’d booked a hotel just outside the airport so I could walk. There was a long queue for the visa cashier, none for the application form, which I didn’t understand, unless everyone else had got a form along with the landing and customs form I’d been given, but by the time I had filled in the short form almost everyone was done and I could pay my $20 and pick up my passport – the visa form is at one end of a long counter, they take the form from you, along with passport and photo, then shuffle you off to the cashier. If it’s busy they’ll be having a stab at calling out different names, but I just picked up my passport and moved on. There are signs on the passport control desks saying ‘nothing to pay here’, but money certainly changed hands up ahead as an Asian lady shooshed her mother through. It seemed odd, but didn’t affect me and I could walk out to find the exit. Taxi drivers made offers, but the idea of a hotel nearby was to avoid that. I walked the wide, spottedly dark, streets, only wondering if this was a good idea when two figures loomed out of the darkness. They wandered on, so did I, and I could see the hotel. One last motorbike rider bid for my custom, a couple of times until I convinced him that I really could make it to that sign, 100m from here.

Busy highway next to water, which has mountains on the far side
Leaving Seoul.

Luxury. A $20 hotel room is the height of it sometimes, and I nearly got sucked into watching Taken 2 on one of many cable channels before finally rolling over for sleep. Short version: travelled. Nothing untoward happened.

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