Wednesday, 15 August 2007
I was plain lucky or simply called to wander into the hallowed grounds of Angkor wat. It was just greatness in every sense of the word. I walked through its halls and byways and touched the historic grandeur of the proud people whose past was somehow 'deleted' in many ways... Pol Pot or any devastations can't just erase the proud past of the people there. Climbing through the pagoda was a grand celebration of humanity for me.
My heart bled from the immense work that the Khmers must do to save the temples. The world owes much to history. Yes, we must also do our share of saving them.
This leads me to my own questions of some other historic greatness that my people should also celebrate. What mammoth past do we have?
My heart was torn... I can't also bear to simply climb through rails and mazes and treks to all the the past and say yeah, we were great. That past must also continue coherently....
The children accepts the reality as it is. There is nothing wrong with the seeming 'misplacement' of sorts in there.
I can't also forget the face of the schoolgirl who sells flowers and chewing gum after classes. She charmed her way around that no ordinary tourist can resist her sales pitch once you listen to her. Hard work and sheer determination.
We went down for some drinks at a restaurant some hours away from Phnom Penh. I was excited to finally reach Angkor and I was counting the hours away.
A local girl tugged my sleeves and asked me if I want some snacks. I told her that if it is something native, I'll go for it. She held my hand and took to me to THE STALL. "I'll treat you! It's my favorite!" Indeed, it was yummy. The treat is not for the fainthearted but any traveler should have some. It is no blogging material for the gustatorily 'boring' type. But truly! It's yummmm... crack crack...
S-21 was a school transformed into a torture chamber as a way of purging the 'dissidents' of Pol Pot regime. The eerie atmosphere with the 'live' gadgets that shouts of excruciating pain gave away the place. My only connection with the area was the movie The Killing Fields that I saw years ago.
The authorities didn't do much glossing up about the place which made it more real. Going through the rooms and the different storeys of the building would enrich once imaginations. "NO smiling and laughing" was hung on the walls. It reminded the people to pray for the repose of the souls who died in 1975. Faces of people who suffered were displayed on the walls. The innocence of the kids bearing their names and the resignation of the older ones haunt me till now.
I wouldn't be surprised if people could hear moans and sighs of excruciating pain at S-21. The reminder of the terror that 'was' in the cells and the tools used were still there. I was utterly depressed by it all.
Thursday, 2 August 2007
lately, i noticed that i lost the novelty of posing in front of a monument or a statue. Am just contented to take photos of places and unknown faces. In phnom penh and indochina in general, I was just lost in the thousand of subjects that I clicked the shutters away... (ironically, I haven't developed them...)
Now, I am fully rested and is waiting for the time when my negatives will be developed and I will get a self-scolding at the importance or profanity of the subjects I caught...
(pics to follow of course)