As the heading suggests we have been busy here in the capital with a name that no one can pronounce, Phnom Penh. We started by diving head first into the Cambodian history and horror under the Khmer Rouge by visiting the killing fields. The sun was shining, the grass was emerald green, the trees were blossoming, the birds singing, the butterflys fluttered, the whole shebang, and yet this was the place where about 20,000 men, women, and children were tortured or else worked to death. Murdered and buried in shallow graves. And walking around listening to our audio guide you could still make out traces of the nightmare, a bit of fabric buried in the dirt, dents in a tree trunk, or bits of bone brought to the surface by the rain. It was hard to imagine, and still... this only happened about 42 years ago.
The rest of the day we walked about town. We went to the central market and improved our bargaining skills being fluttering silk pants. Dark lavender blue for me and jade green for Elsa.
Day two on our submersion in Khmer history was a visit to the high school turned secret prison, S-21. Walking through the rooms where the prisoners were beaten and kicked, waterboarded and electrocuted, and so so much more. Seeing the faces of the 12,000 that came but never left. I finally believe the saying that the human being is never more creative than when it comes to harming another. This is all incomprehensible to me. How could anyone do this to another human being? How? Yet we repeat the same things, the same horror, the same nightmare over and over and over. Will we ever learn?
I hope so.
And with that philosophical note I leave you to ponder.
Later, gator - see you in Vietnam!