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March 16, 2012

第447話 シェムリアップへ移動

 今日はシェムリアップへ移動。ハノイの空港まではエアポートバスがあり、確か3ドル程度で行けるはずだが、ホテルのお母さんが大きく手を振って、あれは止めなさい、と言う。客が集まらないと発車しないので、どうも時間通りいかないらしい。

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 で、結局お母さんが勧める白タクを頼むことになった。15ドルというから来た時よりは少し安い。まあ、2人いるから、1人600円程度だし、いいとするか。時間まではマーケットに行くとしよう。如何にもアジアの混沌といった路地を10分ほど歩くと、もの凄い人だかりのマーケットがあった。目当てはベトナムコーヒーだ。自分は特にコーヒー通でも何でもないが、アラビカ種のここのコーヒーはとびきり香りが高く、まったりして美味しいのだ。

 相変わらずの薄墨色の単調な景色の中を40分程で空港に着く。出発ロビーで驚いたのは日本人団体旅行客の数だ。シェムリアップはアンコール遺跡があるにしても、この爺さん婆さんたちの数は凄い。

 座席指定で前の方に座っていたので、サッサと出られた。ここではサッサと出たい理由がある。まだビザを取得していないので、到着してからアライバル・ビザを取らなければならないからだ。申請順に発給されるから、列の後ろにいたのでは空港を出るのに時間がかかってしまう。

 それにしても、ビザカウンターにいる7人の係官は何なんだ?隣からきた書類にポンとスタンプを押すとまた隣に。これが6回ほど、あたかもバケツリレーのような動作で繰り返される。そして最後のオジサンがパスポートをめくって確認し、名前が呼ばれる。

 「Hey !  Hiroshi!」 おいおい、なんでミスターも付けずに、下の名前で呼び捨てなんだよ。偉そうにふんぞり返っている。受け取りに行くと、「OK ! It's yours !」 なんとも感じが悪~い。 

 入国の審査官の感じの悪さは更に輪をかけた。ここでは全指紋を取られるのだが、読み取り機の反応が悪いのだ。2秒くらいかざして、もういいだろうと手を離すと、凄い剣幕で手を離すなっ!と言う。感知したらピッと言うのだが、5秒以上はかかる。こんな険悪なやりとりは2回ほどあった。

 むしゃくしゃした気分で外に出ると、そこは夕方の南国の青空。一気に気分は変わった。ゲストハウスのドライバーがトゥクトゥクで出迎えに来てくれていた。

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