Monday, April 13, 2009

Cambodia, I love thee - part one

Hi Guys its me Darragh, I know its been a while since we spoke and I hope you can forgive me. Cambodia, where do I start. I was feeling quite sorry for myself after Frank split, its always harder on the people that are left behind so I decided I'd had enough of Vietnam and got myself a bus ticket to Phnom Penh. Once on the bus a gentleman sat down beside me and gave me a massive smile and a friendly wave.

"You're not from Vietnam then?"
"No" said the smiler "I'm from Cambodia"

And that was the rub of it friends. The Cambodians are amazing people, great criac and always laughing. As an aside, the Cambodian ladies also always wear pajamas everywhere.

I rocked into Phnom Penh on the day of Ireland's grand slam match versus Wales. Having missed every match bar the French one I was determined to get to this and got the heads up on the Lonely planet forum as to where to watch the epic clash and Ireland's inevitable glorious victory. Anyway I had booked a Tuk Tuk to take me shooting, then to the killing Fields and then to 'S21' the genocide museum.

Well Ireland won and I got home at 6 am. I met a guy from Limerick (Alright Aidan!) I'd met previously in Chiang Mai and he gave me the heads up on the Happy guest house by the lakeside. A place that will forever be dear to my heart and became a fantastic home from home for two weeks. Well Ireland won... just. The place went mental and the subsequent celebrations made Paddy's day in Vietnam look like a Parent - teachers meeting

I got lost making my way home and jumped on a moto cab for two dollars to get me back to my hotel. The bloke hadn't a clue and after about twenty minutes I got back. I gave him a five and he didn't have the right change. After being fed this crap constantly for the time I was in Vietnam I wasn't having it and demanded my money. However it seems he genuinely didn't have it so I asked for his baseball cap in lieu of funds.

The next morning I woke up feeling rough and frankly a little bad for demanding that dudes cap. I knew I had a Karmic debt to repay. It would come in time. My Tuk Tuk turned up to take me to the various grim sites. I being barely able to stand informed him of a change of plan and got myself to the Happy guest house. Ah sweet sweet Happy's, that lush loving den of inequity nestled by the lake. I won't go into the details as my Mum will be reading but vast amounts of Beer Lao were consumed.

The following day I made my way to the shooting range accompanied by the lovely Juliet. I shot an N60 twas bad to the bone. Peep for yourselves my dear drooges.

After that we went to the Killing fields which was totally incongruous with what I had just done. Had I gone to the killing Fields or indeed S21 first I doubt I could of gone to a shooting range. I won't go into the details of it as its well known buts it beggars believe the amount of human suffering and degradation that took place in those few acres. Soldiers used pickaxes and hammers to kill people to save on bullets. My gallery is here

A glass of human teeth

Skull behind glass #2

Red Skull with missing teeth

Skulls behind glass 1

Skull behind glass #4

Anyway I've a lot more photos to upload before I can continue as without the photographs there is little or no context for S21 or the Children I visited who live in the city dump. I should have more up in a few days.

1 comment:

  1. Great that you've done those things. Brings back HUGE messed up memories. I think I stayed at 'no.9' guesthouse down by the lakeside. Very odd feeling when you have the 'ultra chilled' side of the guesthouse and then the seriously Flumped S21 and KF. Very important that you do that though.

    I can't wait for you to see Ankor Watt - make sure you see the sunset and sunrise. I stayed at the guesthouse down by the crocadile farm in Siam Reap.

    And woe is you for the $3 however, I know when you're travelling - every $ counts! But you will have to pay your karma somehow.

    Oh and get a massage from a blind person, they were only $3-$5 when I was there (albeit 6 years ago now) and they're tony-the-tiger grrrreeaaattt!

    Adios my travelling buddy,

    Richie Rich