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Filling up- and counting the cash- an informal gas station on the road to Kbal Spean | by shankar s.
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Filling up- and counting the cash- an informal gas station on the road to Kbal Spean

I am in Siem Reap, Cambodia, checking out the Angkor temples, and this is my first solo trip post breakup. Having done the main ones like the Angkor Wat, the Bayon and Ta Prohm etc. (see separate albums elsewhere under my profile), I am now off to Kbal Spean and Banteay Srei, which are located some 25 odd km out of Siem Reap. Yes, the entire countryside around SIem Reap is littered with Angkor era temples, many of the several kilometres away. Having started off, my tuk tuk driver stopped here to fill up his bike. (yes, my tuk tuk is a wooden carriage hauled by a Honda 125cc motorbike). As we were filling up, this couple pulled up opposite to us for their refueling. The man is see here counting the cash. As for the lady- no she is not texting, as smartphones were still in their infancy back in 2008 at the time of this visit. She is an informal gas station on the road to Kbal Spean. And no, she is not texting- smartphones were still in their infancy in 2008- the year of my visit. She is fiddling up with something else in her hand, like opening a knot or something. You have heard of street food vendor, but have you heard of street fuel vendor? Well, this is one of several I saw in Siem Reap on my visit. Of course, there are larger gas stations catering to larger vehicles like cars, buses, lorries etc. But informal gas stations like this one here cater to the scores of motor scooters running about all over Siem Reap. I noticed similar fuel providers, or petrol refill vendors as they are sometimes called- in Bali in Indonesia as well, several years later (2018), but did not seem to spot any in Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh when I visited in 2014. They must have been several, tucked away somewhere, but I did not spot any on my 2014 visit. The typical layout of these street fuel stations is like this one here- a large barrel filled with fuel, with a siphoning pipe usually hanging out of it, and a multi layered wooden rack stacked with fuel of various colours (I could never find out the difference between the fuel of various colours) filled in old liquor bottles. Fascinating, and more so as an exciting new discovery on my first solo trip. (Siem Reap, Cambodia, Oct. 2008)

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Taken in October 2008