The Best Laid Plans...
Trip Start Dec 31, 2004
71Trip End Apr 22, 2005
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I was exhausted today and my legs were achy from temple and hill climbing and my back and neck hurt from the weight of my messenger bag
I still couldn't sit still completely so I took a tuk-tuk to the Land Mine Museum after breakfast. To say that the museum was a bit primitive and underdeveloped would be generous. The exhibits were nailed to the walls of a few dirt floor shacks and there were heaps of deactivated mines in piles in the yard. With that said it was still informative and with sponsorship it could be fleshed out into a more legitimate museum and it deserves to be so. Living within the grouping of shanties there are a few children who are themselves victims of the land mines making this very much a living museum. In Cambodia alone between 1979 and 2003 land mines have claimed over 60,000 victims of which over half are civilians. In 2003 there were 772 victims and of that total 284 were children most of whom were simply working in the fields or playing. There are tank mines everywhere and they can go undetected and be walked upon for years and then a car or truck can tread over it and be blown to bits
I later went to a butterfly conservatory that was rather lackluster and unimpressive. I enjoyed a bowl of coconut ice cream and had a bottle of water and walked around the tiny garden. I thought it would be a nice uplifting thing to do after the Land Mine Museum but it was actually a rather feckless experience. They were trying to do something pleasant and God love them but I'd have rather gone to the FCC, which was nearby. At one point while I was dazing off into space I heard the sound of monks chanting nearby and then just as quickly my tuk-tuk driver outside cranked up his radio and blared a cover of "Saving All My Love for You". Frankly that overlapping of the spiritual beauty of the East and the cranked-out crap of the West was much more amusing.
When it started to hit me that I'd have to leave first thing tomorrow morning on a bus I seriously began to dread it. I was still so worn out and was feeling a bit under the weather and sitting on a bus for over 10 hours suddenly sounded less like an adventure and more like sheer misery. After a quick nap bundled up in my icy cold air conditioned room I headed downstairs to change my plans. Without a hitch I moved everything forward by one day and immediately I started feeling better. I just really wasn't ready to leave quite yet and the best part is that I really didn't have to. Being here another day is maybe what I really needed.