|the picture seen around the world.|
Eating a "happy" pizza along the river in Phnom Penh, a small woman in a wheelchair, sold us a book called, First they Killed my Father, which was heart wrenching but extremely interesting to read. I barely remember hearing the names Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge before researching Cambodia in the recent months. 1/5 of the Cambodian population was wiped out in 4 years, only a little more than 30 years ago. There are not as many older people here as in other places, it is noticeable. The bodies of the innocent babies, women and elderly still lay in the fields just outside the city, aptly named the "Killing Fields." It is madness that this city full of life and culture was stripped of its people and arts such a short time ago, filled with only prisoners and Khmer military. I have learned so much about this part of the world and about myself on this trip, with constant ups and downs of traveling in a place with so much beautiful history and so much pain. It has made me so grateful for my life and while it so hard to see the sadness and hungry people in the streets knowing there is no way you can help them all, a warm smile and kindness is the best way to share peace.
|Uncle Ho at the post office, Saigon.|
|Artwork at the American War crimes museum|
We will be in Phnom Penh for a few more days because I am a terrible planner and forgot to straighten out our visas for Thailand (this visa stuff is harder than it should be) so we are staying at a beautiful hotel on the edge of the Royal Palace grounds, with golden and earth red ancient roofs surrounding us as well as small food and clothing markets.
One of my favorite movies when I was young was the King and I, the blonde English teacher riding through the streets of Siam seemed like the ultimate adventure; now I hope to find a king who has kids that need a teacher, the starkly different culture sometimes feels unreal to me. Soon we will have to enter reality again (if you can call Bangkok reality, I mean) and job searching will commence. I don't want to rush into anything, you know how I am with commitment, but the job market is looking good for me. For now, I guess I will go find something else to distract me, maybe visit a temple with a resident elephant or another happy pizza. Maybe both...
Wishing happiness for my friends and loved ones all over ~