Sihanoukville Cambodia
Sihanoukville Cambodia

Sardine Packed Vans and Swinging Bags of Sickness in Sihanoukville


The bag of vomit swung to and fro, horrifying me and captivating me.


How would I turn this into a blog post? I saw some nasty stuff on the road before. Twas bound to happen during my foray through many developing nations. This one took the taco though.


3 hours prior Kelli and I were packed sardine-style into a mini van in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. We were set to trip to Kampot.


On entering the mini van we noted the lack of air conditioning. Not too comfortable in a hot, humid climate, recently ravaged by a typhoon, making the air even more clingy than usual.


Oh well; I grinned, bore it and eventually noted the slow trickle of AC.


Turns out the driver saved some gas early on in the trip.


Clown Car


A clown car scenario ensued.

We’d stop by various hostels and hotels to pick up 2 more travelers, than 4 more tourists, then 10 more tourists. I was firmly convinced we would never fit more tourists at the next stop, let alone the Leaning Tower of Pisa type luggage stack on top of the van.


The drivers amazed me. Puzzle geniuses, these guys were, sandwiching tourists in the van and luggage on top of the van, fastening everything and everyone with such deftness that my jaw dropped as more tourists I mean clowns entered the impossibly tight van, and the even more impossible scenario.


One particular stop floored me; 2 tourists with huge backpacks were herded into the van, said backpacks being stacked to the top of the vehicle in a manner not inconsistent with a Cirque Du Soleil performance.


As the delicate balancing and packing act ensued, I glanced askance to see 2 large, leathery feet protruding from a haha shack.


Sihanoukville Cambodia


Said shack was a police station. Those stinky dogs belonged to a cop.


I am not kidding.


Anyway, after watching Johnny Law get some much needed sleep we fastened the doors, prayed to the luggage gods that our stuff would not fly off when we hit 70 MPH in the mini van – and we did hit 70 MPH – and off we went to Kampot.


Swinging Bags of Vomit


A few hours into the ride I heard a gentle retching sound.


Child vomit.


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The youngling puked on the floor a bit, on a guy’s flip flops a bit, and partially inside of a little plastic sandwich bag.


For some odd reason, the mom fastened the bag to the back of the front seat – versus tossing it out of the car – creating a swinging pendulum of child puke as we swayed to and fro in the humid, hot, steamy weather, barreling along at the speed of sound.


Strangely enough, the mom attempted to force feed the child after the puking incident, prompting one tourist to yell at her, pleading that she not feed the kid who would obviously puke enough to fill 5 bags of swinging vomit.


After a number of hours on the road, the lady and child left with the vomit in tow.


We then arrived in Kampot with its world renowned pepper plantations, each clown tourist slowly exiting the Puke to Pepper Mobile.