Published: March 3rd 2006March 3rd 2006
So, we arrived in Chau Doc, Vietnam today, from Cambodia. OUr journey was all of 5 hours on a boat that seated about 16-26 people. It was HOT! but manageable. Our arrival at the immigration port was greeted by some very aggressive children who offered everything from massages, to food items, to baggage handling, etc. It was something to see, they moved so quickly from one offer to the next, particularly if the first offer was greeted with resistance. So, for example, if we refused to buy the food, then your shoulders immediately got the pleasure of being massaged...and so forth and so on...until finally, they get the message--NO THANK YOU! Our backpacks were so heavy and we received no help to disembark the boat--oh yes, there was help from the kids, no more than 10-13 years old but appeared to be 7 - 8 years in age. There offer was certainly not for free! Anyhow, we hopped over a couple of boats to get to dry land, of course always carefully focused on not falling in the water. Actually, I had to laugh when it was all said and done. Audrey and I were moving very carefully and was a little petrified as we made our jump.
We are staying tonight in a small town called Chau Do...more like a port town, so nothing major to see or do, which means perfect opportunity to settle in for an evening at the internet cafe.
Yesterday, we had a wonderful Cambodian/Khmer meal at our tour guide's home. We were well received by a group of 23 children who study English every evening at his home. After which, we sat down (literally on floor mats) to a great meal of vegetable curry, veggie noodles, rice, vegetable soup (cambodian style), morning glory (a type of cambodian vegetable). On the other end of the mat (12 of us in our tour group) was the same dishes, but with pork---oh, the brave souls :-) Anyhow, the evening was a treat, to be able to sit and dine in the village of out tour guide...it was very enlightening as he vividly painted the images in our heads of cambodian life, while sharing his life stories.
I plan on renting the movie, "The Killing Fields" when I return home, as I had the fortunate, but daunting opportunity to visit the site yesterday--the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It was chilling! The killing fields is the site where many Cambodians were buried/dumped by the Pol Pot army (as in Political Potential), some even buried/dumped alive. Another case of genocide! Similar to what took place with the Holocaust and in Rwanda, and Zimbabwe, and even the great slave trade. The root cause in all cases EVIL!