Horrific past, promising future.
Trip Start Sep 30, 2005
82Trip End Sep 01, 2006
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On the second day Danny, Parv (crazy American artist from the bus) and I went to the National Museum full of many Buddhas and relics, unfortunately some of the information was a little sparse. One card that stood out for me said the item was 'box' and written for the design, particular use, origin and age there was written only 'unknown'
We also went to the Tuol Sleng Museum which used to be a school until Pol Pot's security forces turned it into a prison for interrogation, torture and execution known as Security Prison 21 (S-21). At one point S-21 was killing an average of 100 people per day. The museum was very difficult to see, especially the beds of the last 14 people killed there which remain in the cells with pictures of how they were found above.
Almost everyone held at S-21 was taken to Choeung Ek (Killing Fields) to be executed, which is where we went the next day. Of roughyl 20 000 people that went to the prison, only 7 survived. Here it felt like we were just stumbling into this place soon after and not a memorial site at all. There are clothes and bones lying everywhere. Strangely next to the field is a primary school so there are lots of kids running around showing us their wrestling moves and asking for money, instead Parv gave them stickers and we all taught them how to race each other on their hands while someone holds their legs
At both the sites we couldn't decide if it was appropriate to take pictures or not and to then put them on here. Was it glorification or in-sensitive or is it worse to ignore it in the hope it goes away? In the end we did take some pictures and they are on here if you want to look. if anyone wants more info, maybe this site is he one:- www.dccam.org.
On a brighter note we are fine and enjoying the Cambodian experience and slowly picking up some of the language basics. We are going to spend a another day around Phnom Penh before heading South, just can't get enough of these roads!
Take care everyone and hope you haven't broken all your NY resolutions already! :)
Lots of love to peter and janet, our thoughts are with you.