2 February 2010
Map Reading Madness
Phnom Penh is hard enough to get around without your moto driver not knowing where he is going either. Some motorbike taxi-drivers can't read maps, and don't know the street numbers.
After 2 months I now know the streets of Phnom Penh fairly well, it's just that my Khmer language skills aren't good enough yet to match my map reading ability. So I've had lots of trips on the back of a bike where there has been a lot of pointing, u-turns, wrong turns and wasted time.
However, the motos know where temples and markets are located and so if I can manage to produce a few well-pronounced locations in Khmer the problem is solved. Tell your moto the nearest temple or market, then point the rest of the way.
Tonight my class at our Centre focused on a 'Giving Directions' lesson. It went well. As most young Cambodians ride motorcycles, they enjoyed being able to describe in English where they are going and where they have been.
Now I just have to reverse the process; the English lesson I gave tonight needs to be turned into Cambodian, so I can direct my moto driver.