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Published: April 25th 2009
I hate to admit it, but as feared these blogs have died a bit of a death.
In India I had hours of long rattly train rides to reflect on the experience of a lone traveller amidst such diverse and rich culture. I had a rough draft of how the blog was going to read before I even found a functioning computer, and looked forward to documenting my experiences and being able to share my stories online. Come South East Asia, having done the intrepid travelling malarkey, it was non-stop tourists and backpackers over every whiskey bucket or on every sandy beach so I had people to share my somewhat normal stories with, meaning that by the time it came to the blog, as is the way with travelling and meeting so many people, I had refined and repeated the same ones so often so that to write them down would be rather tedious. Anyway, from where I left my parents, and the last "proper" blog here are a few snippets:
I travelled to Phnom Penh, from Siem Reap where I had a rather emotionally challenging day consisting of genocide and torture chambers. A harrowing memory for me involved a conversation with the Cambodian that was my motorcyclist for the day. I spent a sombre hour or two in the killing fields, walking around holes where thousands and thousands of bodies were exhumed from their mass graves dug by the Khmer Rouge. I spent a while staring upwards at a towering glass chamber containing layer upon layer of skulls as a wrenching reminder of the genocide that occurred here in the 70's. I looked at every skull on one of the levels, the craniums displaying hollowed gashes from machetes and shattered fragments from the blunt-force of a mallet or an iron rod. The victims would often beg for a bullet from the economically-sensitive soldiers, but all to often fall bleeding but still very alive into the pit after a botched execution, to await there fate of being buried alive when the bodies of their husbands, wifes and children come crashing down and lifeless onto them.
With the sun bleaching my recently cut hair, and the wind streaming around my sunglasses, watering my eyes, I set off to the high school-come-Khmer Rouge prison and torture compound clinging tightly to the back of the motorcycle. I ask my driver if he had ever been in to see the graves. His reply really hit home to me how freshly buried 2 million of the population are after a genocide that occurred barely 30 years ago.
"Ah Jack, I cannot see the fields of killing. It is too upset for me. When I see the skulls in tower, I look at skulls, and I cry, as I do not know which one is skull of my father". It later turned out that he had lost half of his family from the genocide, their bodies lie unidentified and anonymous.
That was the main malarkey from Cambodia. I recommend people to read "First they killed my father" to here more about the horrors of genocide. What really gets to me, is that it IS going to happen again, no matter what we do, mass executions of whole races are going to continue. Thats humanity for you.
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