Wednesday, October 15, 2008

if life is a car transmission...

On our last trip to Phnom Penh, we took our 1992 Toyota Camry for a supposedly 6-hour spin from Siem Reap to Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh on an almost 400 kilometer stretch of good road. We've done the road trip countless times already so we know that before each trip, a complete car check-up is necessary. So we did, and off we went! With me were the Spoolworks Team (my design studio) - Brewster, our graphic designer who was on the wheel and KC, our creative sales director who was our beat boxing specialist at the backseat.

But an hour to the trip, we keep on losing our speed until the clutch couldn't hold it anymore...


Turns out our transmission finally broke after all those years of hard work. So what do you do when you have more than 300 kilometers to go?

Well, you start pushing of course!



Or better yet, sit back and inhale the best of the Cambodian countryside...


Or savor those seemingly dilapidated towns which seem to be trapped in the 60's...


Make friends with the brown-eyed locals...


or perhaps ride the moto with some monk brothers....


maybe settle down the pavement and enjoy a bite of green mangoes...


or stop by some houses for a drink or two...


Maybe enjoy a smoke or a puff by the roadside...


or do a full-scale fun streetfighter-inspired photo shoot...


or finally concede that we needed a new transmission afterall!


So for 35 bucks, we were pulled by a rickety Khmer Rouge - era truck to the nearest town which was another 30 kms away. We managed to find a decent hotel, had some dinner and woke up early the next day to find a car shop. A day and 400 dollars later (roughly 20,000 pesos), we got back our car and raced to Phnom Penh with a "brand new" second hand transmission tipping the 130 km/hour scale...

Then the radiator leaked and overheated. But that my friends, is another story of course...

36 comments:

Megan said...

Great photo essay. You look like the best kind of road tripper! If you come the San Francisco way perhaps you ought ot consider being my guest and taking a road trip down to my families house in Baja, Mexico. Lot's of great photo ops there. I'd love to do that. Let me know if you're ever interested.

Luis Batchoy said...

din na xlinks ko
heheheh

Borneo Falcon said...

You still manage to capture some interesting photos even though the car break down half way.

sherwin said...

I love the photos...I can feel your adventure. I always dream of touring Asia. Your'e lucky to be around in most key cities of Asian countries. Goodluck in your endeavor..Love your blog!

Kiks said...

beauteous.

blagadag said...

except for the photo that revealed your nicotine addiction, i am happy of these pictures. good that your transmission gave up. the wasted money and time were converted to precious wonderful moments. wonderful captures. your two buddies are also cute. don't be sad about the lost $400, your car got a boost anyway. keep shooting.

r-yo said...

see, even disasters bring out good things. those were great shots. i like the mango lady's facial expression. not so enticing to buyers eh? he he

REDLAN said...

20,ooo, mahal ah! i like the pic na tumatalon yung dalawa mong kasama. as the pic was downloading, kala ko tubig ang nasa ilalim nila, lakas nun ha. pero may lupa rin pala. pula ba talaga ang lupa dyan sa cambodia? kasi nakita ko rin yan sa pic ng friend ko na nasa cambodia rin.

the spool artist said...

@megan: Hey, a road trip to Mexico sounds exciting Megan! Count me in, and thanks for the offer! Will definitely start planning for a US-Mexico trip already. Cheers!

@luis batchoy: oooppss... sige, i link ko na! hehehe.

@borneo falcon: i think it was a blessing in disguise as well that the car broke down... yup, we did enjoy seeing the countryside unhurriedly for the first time!

@sherwin: Thanks, we're lucky indeed to be within easy reach of key Asian cities around here. And not to mention the proliferation of budget airlines, bus companies and cheap cars... there has never been a better time to be in asia... you should move here already!

the spool artist said...

@kiks: wish we can do a road trip from cambodia to hongkong! lol

@blagadag: well, so far, nicotine is my only vice but i'm not that big of a smoker either. a pack can last me a week or two depending on my work. hahaha, i'll let Brewster and KC know about your comments. They'll love it that you said they're cute! lol.

@r-yo: well, she wasn't exactly the perfect ambassador for mangoes but she was nice afterall!

@redlan: yup, prices are really exhorbitant here in cambodia, but we had no choice at all. That taught us lessons and experiences money cannot buy so it was worth it. Yup, the soil is REALLY red here in Cambodia, in some provinces, it is very powdery white!

Anonymous said...

palanga i arivd safely n pp. Lft m mobile at d haus m usng my ast fn. Email tym thn m off to au embasy. Ast s wndrful has a spare n95 for madame hrh hehehe pls send my fon to wen she wil courier n sat stuf for moi as wel. Wabs u

the spool artist said...

hay naku, everyone's been calling you here. i thought you brought my other fone... been trying to call your philippine sim. ok will send it to wena. pls send me a copy of your passport & kh visa. they need it sa western union asap. send it via capitol pls

LENORENEVERMORE said...

That street fighter scene is so great..."crouching tiger hidden dragon" action...up in the air!
woowee!!!

eDreGiN said...

-Wow' cool shots!
Ey, what's the technique on taking such pic of the "street fighter scene"? :=)))

the spool artist said...

@lenorevermore: thanks! if it was done on a bamboo grove, it would be a complete crouching tiger hidden dragon deal!

@edregin: the lighting was perfect because the sun was almost down on the otherside at 4 pm. For the camera, I adjusted my Nikon on high shutterspeed. If it was a regular digital camera, some parts may have been blurred. But technique din with that is to use a flash!

RONeiluke, RN said...

what a day huh... but i bet you're not bored. not by even a bit!

i really admire your photos. a friend owns a nikon camera dslr--something? she taught me some basics and i was hooked. she taught me the focusing, macro shoot, the lenses and effects.. hays... it was really fun. if i could only afford a camera that costly..hmmm

i love the streetfighter shoot! BRILLIANT! and the landscape. green fields against a blue sky.. wheee... WOW.

---
thanks mate :)

my allergies seem to get worse. if vanessa mae could help me, i'll definitely dig her music. but i'd prefer lucia micarelli if i have an option. hehehe!

i'll wait for your next misadventure :)

the spool artist said...

hey ron, you're right. not a single minute was predictable! it was really fun (and admitingly scary at the same time).

i'm telling you, photography is absolutely addicting. and nikon cameras are absolutely great old school-meets-high-tech gadgetry you can lay your hands on. don't worry, in a few years or even months lang im sure you would be able to afford one. isasali na nga lang kita sa pulitzer prize with your writings para yumaman ka bigla!

shoot for the stars!

fuchsiaboy said...

CUTE!!!!!!!!

Hmmmmm...

Asan???

Bwahahahaha!

I find gerbils cute so maybe...

the spool artist said...

don, pagbigyan mo na!

kouji haiku said...

murphy's law... :O

wow. these pictures are excellent. :O

the spool artist said...

thanks kouji... you're right about murphy's law!

chezza said...

I wouldn't mind to have my car brokedown with views like this....Amazing shots! Wish I could take photos like this too(inmydreams,he,he,he) for now though,I'll just settle with my point and shoot cam *sigh*

Curbside Puppet said...

nice! first time here and was pretty much shocked that you live in cambodia.

ever been to laos? just wanna ask how far khone falls is from vientiane.

Ar-wee-der-yet said...

Wow, this is one unique blog by a Filipino. Great photos and articles! Do make us proud there in Cambodia. I will surely visit Siem Reap soon.

the spool artist said...

@chezza: ey, wag mo namang mali-itin yung point & shoot camera mo... i started with that and it taught me a lot along the way! hehehe. you're right, had we not been stranded, i would never have the time to shoot these places like this!

@curbside puppet: thanks for visiting! yup, ive been to laos before, but only in vientiane in pakse. Khone falls is already on the border of cambodia and laos, so its nearer to pakse and really far from vientiane. if you wanna visit is, the easiest way is to go to cambodia muna then make your way up to laos!

@ar-wee-der-yet: thanks! we'll be looking forward for you to visit siem reap! ive added you on my blogroll already!

eunice said...

I like the contrast of the sky and the green field. Do you use photoshop? nice.

I calculated =P ... If I post every 2 days, there will be 15 posts per month based on a 30-day mth. To reach my 2000th post, that would be (2000 - 200) / 15 = 120 mths = 10 yrs. I will post my 2000th post in 2018, ideally... LOL

the spool artist said...

hi eunice, normally, i just tweak the brightness and saturation a bit...

wow, i'm sure your blog will be a SuperBlog by then (as in like supermodels). In 2018, you might earn around a million bucks from google ad sense alone, you would have had your own tv-blog show and would have syndicated around 20 blogazines (magazines/ publications) to your name! who knows, you might be uploading three posts daily in a few months time, so your 2,000th post won't be that far!

that means your calculation might still be under-projected! cheers...

Jake said...

your photos are not real, it's more than real! :)

salingPUSA said...

the 3rd photo---lavit , lavit.....looks like the rice fields in the Philippines are of no match to the seemingly endless stretch of farmlands.

the spool artist said...

@jake: hahaha, salamat pareng jake!

@salingpusa: you're right anton, grabe yung rice fields dito... parang bermuda grass lawn na sa sobrang lapad... and very iconic yung sugar palm trees na naka-usli sa fields!

kawadjan said...

whoa, these pics are amazing. especially the boy in front of the window. simply ferosh.

also, cambodia's flat landscape is so out of this world (at least for me). i've never seen anything so flat before.

btw, number 32 is hawt. give my hugs to him please. (ang landi!)

alex said...

look at that greeeeeen field!!! beautiful

i haven't been to a countryside for a looooong time...

ang sarap huminga syan

ZJ said...

Er, I might skip the mangoes part, mukhang masungit si ming!*lol* Seriously, anggaling ng mga kuha mo! Link kita, ha?

the spool artist said...

@kawadjan: sabi ni 32 you can come here daw and hug him yourself... hehehe...

@alex: it's funny nga kasi we always take that view for granted all the time... nung nasiraan kami sa daan that's when we really appreciated it!

KRIS JASPER said...

OMG! Indian mangoes!!!!!! plus ginamos! waaahhhh!!!!!!!!

cool yung country side photo. plus ang "karate kids photo"

:)

the spool artist said...

you're dead right about the indian mangoes and ginamos! galing kay indi na di ya uso... what people put on mangoes here is salt with chili and sugar! actually namit man siya...

tagpila ang kilo sang paho dira sa uk? hehehe