may the good souls be free

Hi guys. It’s raining outside. I can hear the raindrops against my window panes. My parents are heading out soon. Shirley’s still in hibernation. And I have a warm cup of milo next to me.

All’s good 🙂

I’ve just been back from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, just yesterday. I must say, it really surprised me how much I’m wishing I was still back there at the hotel. My family had planned a short 3 days 2 nights trip just to go visit my brother who’s working at PP for a few months now. To be honest, I hadn’t expected much from this trip other than reuniting with my brother in a foreign land and the main itinerary, which was to visit the Killing Fields.

Coming from a well-developed country with high-rise buildings, HDB flats, shopping malls and whatnot, I didn’t get many chances to visit other still developing countries until now. Cambodia streets are quite messy and the shops are mostly rundown. Everything looks brown and fashion isn’t a big statement there. However the traffic is slow, very very safe, and the people seem to be living in contentment. The Cambodians were extremely hospitable. The guy that my brother hired to drive us around was super friendly and polite, and the tuktuk rider that brought us to our last restaurant even told my brother ‘up to you’ and smiled when my brother asked how much for the ride. It may not be a smart move, can even be considered stupid if he were in another country, but he really was happy with whatever he earned, and even happier when i wanted to take a photo with him. It’s so.. heartwarming to watch.

Once, after walking through the Killing Fields in the rain and mud, we had no choice but to stop by one of the shop along the street to buy slippers because our shoes were wet and sandy. There were dust all over the slippers hanging for sale around the shops and houseflies everywhere. It’s quite obvious that business isn’t going well for this guy and he looked so happy when we stopped outside his shop to buy just 4 pairs of slippers. I hope his business gets better after Pchum Ben period is over.

During the 2nd day, we visited the Killing Fields where more than a million people were killed and buried during the Khmer Rouge regime. It’s hard to believe that this happened only 30+ years ago from 1975 to 1979. Along the way, there were numbers from 1-18 on the ground and we had headphone devices that tell us the story about what happened at that spot during that time. There were thousand over skulls stacked up in the buddhist stupa in honor of those who died and many more pieces of clothes, bones and teeth fragments still surface on the ground till this day whenever it rains. In the lake, there were also hundreds of graves left uncovered.

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I listened to some of the stories told by Shirley and my brother before and I thought I might just cry if I ever went to the Killing Fields myself. But no, when you’re there, you feel a heavy heart, and sadness for the way those people had their lives taken away from them. Even with all the number segments and pits that they’ve cordoned up for the tourists, there are people who were killed on the grounds of every step that you are taking. Even with your careful steps to avoid graves and bones, there were innocent people and children who died on where you are standing on. It’s so hard to comprehend, and I still think about it from time to time when I’m back home.

Ok, I might be getting a little too deep in those thoughts.

Anyway, it left a lasting impression and I encourage those who are interested in knowing what happened to visit the Cambodia Killing Fields at Choeung Ek.

Other than that, we had some amazing meals.

Tama Hotel Phnom Penh Tower -The D22

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Digby’s | DNAK Square Cambodia

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Best carbonara i’ve eaten wtf. Iced almond yo wtf.

Last but not least, super blur photo because the guy didn’t know how to use my camera. But it’s okay. 🙂

Family
Family

Thanks for reading!

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