The Killing Fields

March 24, 2008   

24th March – I pretty much snapped this morning and told Annabelle that we were upgrading from the $1.50/night room on the lake to a new place with air conditioning. I just couldn’t deal with sweating profusely while trying to sleep in a dirty room. So I dragged her to a new place with air conditioning, clean sheets and a TV all for the very expensive $13/night.

After checking into our new place our driver took us to the Genocide Museum S21 it is very horrifying we went from there onto the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek before moving on from there we sat at a table in the shade. The sheer horror of what we had seen made for a very quite day. It is amazing the cruelty that human beings are capable of. I didn’t like how they tried to portray the tragic events as being more horrifying than the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. In my mind both regimes were horrendous and they don’t need to be compared to make them anymore so.

Annabelle and I have been reading a few books by people who survived the Khmer Rouge – Stay Alive My Son is very good. At the moment I am reading The Gate by Francois Bizot one of the only Westerners to survive the Khmer Rouge.

We went back into town for lunch at Friends a resturant run by former street children. The food was delicous it was though western level pricing. Then onto the National Museum which had every type of  carved Budda possible I must admit though that we had pretty much had our fill of temples and statues! Onto the Russian market for the obligatory 3rd world shopping experience – stands full of fake Rolex’s, North Face gear, Polo shirts etc.

We spent the evening in our air conditioned room before heading out to a local restuarant. The menu included roast frog which we didn’t go for instead we had beef volcano which is not as exciting as it sounds. You have a gas camping stove in the middle of the table and a cast iron skillet on it. They give you plates of veg, beef slices with an egg on top, oil, butter and rice and you cook the meal yourself. Our server was a very nice young guy who was trying very hard to explain how to eat our meal in his rudimentary English. I think he was amazed at how tidy we were as we stacked our empty plates at the end of the table unlike the locals around us. We then had the soup which again you cook at the table. The broth comes in an earthenware pan with some suspect looking meat floating in it. We didn’t think it was beef like our server told us. Neither Annabelle nor I were adventurous enough to eat the meat sticking instead to the vegetables and noodles.

Tomorrow we are off to Hong Kong where Annabelle stays for the Hong Kong Sevens. I have the evening there and then back to San Francisco where I have a few clients waiting for some work on their boats. I will be helping out a little on Hugh’s X40 catamaran project which is in the Bay for corporate entertainment.

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