When you put yourself out there to experience all of the good things travel has to offer, you also put yourself at risk of unfortunate events as well. We have had only minor ailments but no accidents, loss of luggage or had anything stolen to date. However, Christmas 2008 in Cambodia will be memorable for an unfortunate event that we we witnessed.
We ended up spending Christmas eve in Battambang and Christmas Day on the bus to Phnom Penh. We usually try to get the seats at the very front of the bus to minimize motion sickness and because it is easiest to get Kasenya to those seats. We were late booking tickets though and ended up half way to the back of the bus.
It was turning out to be the first bus or train trip in SE Asia, where we had some hope of being on time. About an hour from Phnom Penh, as our bus slowed done through a town, two men on a motorbike came out of a side road on our left at high speed, crossed into the wrong lane and collided with the front of the bus. Neither man was wearing a helmut and only the passenger survived the crash.
The bus driver had seen them coming and the bus was nearly stopped at the time of the accident. None-the-less the sound of the motorbike colliding with the bus was audible and the bottom of the passenger side windshield cracked.
Unfortunately Dave had moved to a seat that had been vacated at the fronf of the bus to take pictures and witnessed the whole event. Being seated in the middle of the bus spared Devin, Kasenya and I from seeing the accident and the aftermath. The bus driver was visibly shaken and a crowd gathered quickly around the front of the bus to see what had happened. It was likely someone from the community that was involved and we could see from the side windows that several people in the crowd were visibly distraught. A Buddhist nun was brought to scene presumably to provide a blessing for the deceased.
It is easy to read too much into the fact that we were on the bus when this happened. Should we have gone home earlier? Should we leave now? Is this a bad omen? In the end it appears to have been an unfortunate coincidence and also a reminder of how fragile and sacred life is. Perhaps in an odd way it was telling us how important seizing the opportunity to make this journey really was.
Bissky Dziadyk Family
Travelling the world as a family since 2008.
In September 2008 our family embarked on a four month journey through South East Asia. Traveling with a child who uses a wheelchair presented its challenges, but following the Mekong River through China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam with a wheelchair was truly an adventure.
When we move beyond our fears and embrace our dreams, the Universe has an odd way of not only supporting us but giving us more opportunities than we ever imagined. Embarking on a journey with an open heart we can not help but be changed forever by the experience. Indeed it would be a waste to return untouched in the spiritual realm.
September: China (Beijing, Xi’an,Kunming, Yuanyang)
October: Northern Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong Bay) and
Laos (Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane)
November: Southern Vietnam (Hue, Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta)
December: Cambodia (Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang, Kampot and Sihanoukville).