Sunday, September 18, 2005

pnom pehn

we arrived by boat at cambodia's capital, pnom pehn and made our way to a hostel. it turned out to be a really fun place. we managed to go to the killing fields and the tuol sleng genocide museum (aka S-21), a light day to be sure. the killing fields were eerily peaceful. there nice green lawns, and pools of water where the mass graves are, the decomposed flesh causing the earth to cave and collecting water to create nice ponds. the only problem is that bones and clothing are still surfacing and there are baskets placed around so that if you see a bone you can help collect them. as much as i tried to understand the whole khmer rouge genocide thing i still couldn't figure out a lot. what i got was basically, a minority group named by the french as the khmer rouge decided that they would turn cambodia into an almost anarchich state where there would be no education, no real wealth and a society that basically reverts back to peasants and farmers and stuff. i don't really understand it myself. but they did massacre basically everyone in the country that was opposed to them. sholars, diplomats, women, children, the sick and anyone else they saw fit, was tortured and killed. the total number eludes me but it is rediculous how many people were killed. and this was only in the 70's. not so long ago. S-21 was a highschool converted into a prison and then converted into a museum. many of the torture instruments, cells and prisoner profiles were left behind to create a very authentic and haunting experience. just walking around the cells and seing the pictures of people's scared faces, it was really creepy. anyway, after all this, chris and i went back to the hostel where the family that runs it decided to get everyone blasted on local whiskey. all the residents and the family had a great time dancing, playing pool and singing. we decided to put off vietnam one more day because of our hangover and my legs were hurting pretty bad. here are the pics

young children playing in cambodia's killing fields Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

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