"This was a good close-up and personal lesson for Obama on the difficulty of reaching agreement to act within the region."
(The Jakarta Post, "Obama finds Southeast Asia much tougher than he thought")
While the Cambodian government gave journalists the runaround during the 21. ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh, I made my way through it with the help of Hun Sen's security men. Smalltalk about long workdays, family and broken hearts opened the doors for me that remained locked for international competitors. Research in a developing country is more fun, if you know the rules of the game.
Sweat is dripping from our foreheads, the lack of sleep took its toll on us and the vultures are circling above the tourists. "Never again," my colleague Heiko and I swear, while we queue at the Thai border to Cambodia. We both know what will expect us and were trapped even though. Health check, guides from the Ministry, experienced tuk tuk drivers - how can a traveler be aware of all of them?
I traveled continents to discover the world. What I found was a second home. After my Journalism Studies I moved from Leipzig to Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh. Having reported about the country's development for two years, I returned to Germany with a different point of view.