Sunday, February 7, 2010

Kidnapped! Middle-aged Women in Trunks

I decided to go back in time with my blog today to revisit one of my travel experiences in Cambodia five years ago. I had been on a Southeast Asian journey on my own, traveling through Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

This is an excerpt with some editing from an email home.

The lovely picnic of frog sausages, chicken, fish and sticky rice.

Carved 100's of years ago in the creek bed.

Shiva Lingams in the stream at Kulen Mt.

The planning stages for the kidnapping scheme.

January 3, 2005

Kidnapped!, No not really. Just wanted to get your attention!

My friend Poly and some of his other young Cambodian
friends came up with a scheme to save me some money
when we went to Kulen Mountain today.

I rented their friend's car with Poly as a driver and
they had a scheme me to hide when we went past the
checkpoint at the entrance. I wasn't sure how it was
going to work and I even had an anxiety dream about it the previous night
but $20 seems like a pretty stiff road
toll. I had read in the travel guide that none of it
goes toward the upkeep of the temple and grounds
around the waterfalls, just the road builders
moneymaking idea. So ethically I didn't have as much
problem with it. I wasn't sure how I was going to hide in the backseat of a compact car with five young men in it already.
but they assured me no problem and I had to look
at it like I was providing some adventure for them.
That's how compassionate I am!

As we neared the checkpoint I jumped out of the front
seat and was quite reassured when they told me I was
to get into the trunk!. I actually was relieved since
there were five passengers besides me and I wasn't
going to be hiding by their feet.

I think this was the first time I have ever crawled
into a trunk. It was only going to be five minutes.
It was a little dusty but there was light coming in
through the speakers so I didn't get claustrophobic.
I have to admit I was grinning with the thrill of it.
"If my friends could see me now"

My mother warned me about this kind of stuff I'm sure.
I remember her saying "Never Ever GET INTO THE TRUNK

We made it through just fine. I told the guys that If
I had gotten caught I was going to say that they had
kidnapped me and were holding me for ransom. They
thought that was pretty funny.
They told me they actually felt pretty uncomfortable
about me being back there.

We had a good picnic after climbing to see a reclining
Buddha carved out of sandstone and the river of 1000
Lingams which was really interesting to me The lingams
were carved in the 8th century and covered part of a

I have to admire the boys strategy of saving me money
so that I could buy drinks and a picnic for them. We
ate roasted fish and chicken, banana and sticky rice
and coconut waffles along with some cold beers in the
little hut provided. They played cards while I took
pictures and waded in the stream near the waterfall.

I guess a little bit of karma caught up with us
because we had a flat tire on the way back to town.

I enjoyed a good 2 hour massage upon return to town.
Possibly one of the best I've ever had.

I got a kick out of Poly the other day when the hotel
in Phnom Penh offered a free breakfast. "What is
Kelloggs?" he asked. I gave a sort of description. He
decided to try it. When it arrived he had to ask me
how to eat it. Some things you take for granted that
everybody must know how to eat cornflakes.

I'm wandering about Siem Reap this evening trying to
decide on a restaurant. Ther are so many to chose

Tomorrow I go to check out Akira's landmine removal
foundation. It's pretty much a one man show from what
I understand. His life story is on his website. A KR
survivor. I got a recommendation from some other
travelers as well.

Take care all, Love Kim


  1. I hate to think what would have happened to you if they had found you in the trunk!

    The lingams in the stream are absolutely stunning. I love the idea of the crystal water running over them. Thanks so much for mentioning them. I am so thrilled to learn about them and will google them but do you know much about them? What is a lingam actually?

  2. I found a quote in Wikipedia that I really liked "a place where created objects get dissolved during the disintegration of the created universe"

    I had thought that the shiva lingam was the symbol for male-female as well.
    Thanks for having a look.

  3. Now just you remember-You are NOT to travel in the trunk of a compact car with 5 Arizona men! unless it is Julio or Jack or Dave or...
    says your mother.

  4. That's funny, we just drove over the border for dinner last night and they checked my trunk going INTO Mexico!


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