The View from Here


#sol18- August 14, 2018

I knew before I moved here that there was no way I would drive here. I am a wimpy driver and have not driven in about 10 years (did not in Malaysia, many reasons, did not need to in Germany- easy public transport, did not in India- no way!).

Before I even moved into my apartment I looked more carefully at the Google+ Community my school has for teachers. There were a few teachers leaving who had recommended their tuk tuk drivers, so I randomly messaged one. When I did not hear back from him right away I had planned to contact another if I did not hear back by the morning, but luckily Mr. Bo messaged me back.

So began a wonderful relationship. Tuk tuks are everywhere here and you can hail one on the street (with the hassle/challenge of trying to negotiate a price, use an app (like Pass App or Grab) to get a ride, or have a regular guy (I have not seen any women tuk tuk drivers yet). I started out with  the plan that Mr. Bo would drive me to school and I would use an app to call a driver after school (because my leaving is not as set as my arrival). That would have worked, but Mr. Bo encouraged me to hire him for both ways (knowing that I would be slightly more inconsistent). A price was negotiated for weekly M-F and there was no looking back.


His tuk tuk is spacious and super clean and I my ride! When it rains there are these flaps that roll down and I get all zipped in like a tent!



Every morning I pass this place and giggle. You can’t read it, but it says “Mean Mean Guest House”.


I love to see all the shops setting up in the morning- I leave the apartment no later than 6:15 and things are already getting busy.

In the afternoon I almost always see the cows crossing the road not far from school.


The traffic is a mix of cars, trucks, tuk tuks, and motor scooters with little regard for lanes, lights, or “order” in a way that I am used to, yet it all works very well. With Mr. Bo at the wheel I arrive to school safely (although quite windblown) and get home in much the same way.  I am totally convinced that I made the best decision for me to not be driving and I am so glad that Mr. Bo is helping me navigate the streets of Phnom Penh. I am a lucky person!



Slice from a former student who would love comments.

6 thoughts on “The View from Here

  1. WOW! As I drive in Virginia today, I am in awe of your view from your tuk tuk. (so glad you added photos!) I’m also struck at how writers write and then really have no idea of what their words do. As I read this, I am moved by what I see is your bravery. And as I head to the my school leader retreat today, not quite really for summer vacation to end, I need a dose of inspired bravery. Thanks for the jolt…which I bet you did not know you were providing me! Thanks for writing so I could read and be inspired.

    1. It so does not feel brave, because it is all a fun adventure! There are so many more pictures I want to share- my daily trips fill me with awe and wonder (except that I almost always see men relieving themselves, sigh). Your post today inspired me to weave more TC into my workshop- I missed my dose of it this summer!

  2. I need to get my passport picture taken! Too many blogs lately about life in a different continent/country/culture for me handle! Thank you for this vivid blog of your journey to school and back again! 🙂

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