Cambodian Taxi Chaos – a Leaf, a Radiator and a MacGyver Moment

So I thought.

Cambodian Taxis

Having spent fourteen days in the relaxing beach town of Sihanoukville, I was getting exhausted and so were the three chaps traveling together with me personally. It was time to go to the supposed turmoil of Phnom Penh and ultimately Angkor Wat. For twenty U.S. dollars, a regional taxi could find all four of us to the city without any incident.

Around maxicab two Australians, an Englishman and myself crammed into a Toyota Camry using all our backpacks and mixed crap. Our driver was a great guy, smiling constantly. We’d have a communication problem since he spoke roughly two words of English and we just spoke English. The trail, however, was as smooth as guaranteed and we congratulated ourselves on our stroke of fortune.

For about an hour, we cruised throughout the placid Cambodian countryside. There really wasn’t much to watch beyond the casual village. Around half way through the trip, the lack of any large towns became a concern.

In the first middle of no where , our driver pulled over to both sides of the trail and turned off the car. Since we couldn’t verbally communicate, much fingerpointing was undertaken. Were we lost? Can he need more money? Was he going on attack? What the hell was going on?

Eventually, we foreign idiots could decode that the automobile was overheating. Lest you think us complete idiots, I must mention that the temperature indicator wasn’t working.

Regardless, our driver popped the hood along with our smooth trip found a busted end. Steam poured out of the half-inch crack next to the radiator garbage.

Road site aid appeared an iffy potential at the exact middle of Cambodia. I am talking about , you couldn’t call your auto insurance carrier.

Me:”Hi. My car is broken”

Operator:”Okay, we will send someone out. Where have you been?”

Me:”Um, somewhere in the middle of Cambodia.”

The driver looked at us. We looked at him. Simultaneously, most of us started laughing. What else could you do? We were at the middle of nowhere, the radiator was shot and it had been 60 miles roughly to Phnom Penh.

Looking back, I can tell you that Cambodian cab drivers are a creative and committed group. We stumbled on the side of the road, contemplating the truth we were about to get a more authentic Cambodian experience then some one of us had planned. Mysteriouslyour driver had gone into the brush onto the side of the road. After some minutes, he came back with a dark green leaf and a large smile.

Putting MacGyver to pity, he proceeded to spot the crack in the radiator with only the leaf and tube of super glue. We all moved back as he implemented the super glue into the boiling warm radiator, but nothing went up in flames. After allowing for a suitable quantity of time for drying/praying, all we had was water.

Although admittedly not a car expert, I really do know pouring cold water into the back of an combustion engine is a poor idea. With a big grin, the water went into the radiator as we saw in horror. The single question was what will occur, the foliage patch bursting and also the engine seizing up?

Well, you can guess how it turned out. Not only did we create it to Phnom Penh, we later learned that the radiator had two other leaf patches on the ground. The trail was smooth, but my nerves were still shot. 1 way or the other, the roads of Cambodia will get you.

At least I have ample ammunition to mock MacGyver fans.

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