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Why are people wearing disposable face masks? If they need one now, surely they still will tomorrow.

Jules Verne ends 20,000 Leagues with an abruptness that suggests he had something better to do.

Even my LP doesn’t list this $3 bargain; a shack on the top of a fancy hotel. All the facilities, none of the night time hygiene. Ideal.

Why are school trips always history-focussed? No children listen. Mix it up with engineering, natural science, art and culture and more attention might be captured.

Parting gift from my hotel: One pink scarf.

Today’s TukTuk driver is four years my elder at 25. He rents his TukTuk because he has never been able to afford the $500 price tag. His ambition is to go to England or USA or Germany or Oz; anywhere but here.

My path crosses that of BBC World correspondents too often.

According to a local, the government here will look for a scapegoat on which to blame today’s bridge catastrophe. (I taught him the word ‘scapegoat’ and he thought it appropriate.)

Morning markets brim with life – even the fish cling to theirs.

Free toilet paper?! Now I’ve seen it all.

Hill. Steps. Climb. Temple. View. Descend. Repeat.

Apparently you can get a Vietnamese visa in Battambang. Having just left there, my trip to the embassy in Sihanoukville is therefore rendered a bit of a silly plan.

My motorbike-taxi driver tells me en route that: he feels hot; he has a headache; he’s recently been diagnosed with a brain tumour; he saw two people get killed in a motorbike on this road yesterday. Let’s go home, eh?

I appear to have forgotten how to chop vegetables.

‘Aeroplanes are a distortion of time and space’ writes Paul Theroux. I agree, and wish I could take the bus from Saigon to Tokyo.

Fires and candles burn by the roadside.

“I’m not dead” flaps the fish in the market basket.

‘Between two and ten chillies’ is a fantastic recipe inclusion.

Those women are burning money! Literally burning dollars.

Ah, fake paper money.

I believe my room is the only one in my hotel not to contain a prostitute.

German tourists sure know how to work a private beach resort.

As I pass them, any driver of any vehicle morphs into a taxi driver. It reminds me of agents in The Matrix.

My hotel owner, initially fascinated by my hi-tech iPod, doesn’t take long to enquire whether it has any”boomboom”.

Restaurants here are indistinguishable from homes. I just walked into someone’s living room and asked of they were serving dinner.

Sihanoukville is pleasant, inspiring, lively and gorgeous. So I am leaving for somewhere more rubbish.

The countdown to Tokyo begins.

Pylons without cables line streets. Basic infrastructure is planned, partly instigated, but ultimately unfinished.

French people don’t seem very amiable.

Many parents bring young children here. It must be bizzare for them to see their contemporaries selling bracelets to strangers while they cling to Mummy.

I wish I had”This is the end” on my iPod. Or that I could watch Apocalypse Now in full. Perfect for a boat trip on the Mekong.

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