Monday, October 27th, 2003 – Day 251

Monday, October 27th, 2003 – Day 251

I was so lazy this morning. i watched TV far too late last nigt. That with the fact I had been to PP before (3 times) made me want to watch BBC world news and the Film Airheads. I did not leave the guesthouse until 11.30am after a shower and putting my passport into a safe. I walked to the Capitol guesthouse and had breakfast. It was OK.

i then took a moto taxi to the Russian market. this is where you can buy clothes, food, pirate DVD,a ntiques etc. i bought 4 dressing gowns for the brothers/Sisters last year but they never wore them 🙂 I look at the Malaysian imported DVD’s un til 1.30pm. I decided to go back to the Capitol Guesthouse in order to go on a 2.00pm tour to the Killing Fields 17km away. There were a family of three with me on the tour. A son with his parents from england. they were over for his marriage to a local girl. The tour was only 2 USD with a guide.

The Killing Fields,” Choeung Ek Memorial

Originally a Chinese cemetery before becoming the execution grounds for the Khmer Rouge during their maniacal reign under Pol Pot from 1975 to 1979, the site is a collection of mounds, mass graves, and a towering monument of catalogued human skulls. It’s often visited in conjunction with a tour of Tuol Sleng.

They know ovr 8,000 were buried here. They have the skulls as evidence. All the skulls are damaged by club, hammer or gun attack. it was 2 USD in. It was moving. The road to/From the killing fields has got far worse than the last time I was here. It was body breaking. One hour each way on something less than a dirt track with millions of holes. I dont know how the van lasted.

Click on the picture to see it in it´s original size

The Killing Fields – Choeung Ek Memorial (27-10-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in it´s original size

The Killing Fields – Choeung Ek Memorial (27-10-2003)

We got bus back into town.

I then walked to Tuol Sleng, Museum of Genocide. It was 4.00pm, so i only had an hour here. it was 2 USD in.

The grounds of this high-school-turned-prison-and-torture-chamber are like they were in 1979 at the end of Cambodia’s bloody genocide. The whole impression of the atrocities committed at the site is visceral, too much for some visitors. From 1975 until 1979, an estimated 17,000 political prisoners, most just ordinary citizens, were torturedat Tuol Sleng and died, or were executed in the nearby Killing Fields. If you don’t come with a guide, you’ll certainly want to hire one at the entrance, although you’re free to roam the grounds on your own. Local guides often have personal experience with the prison and are vital sources of oral history. They are open to questions, but go easy on any debate. Recrimination against the arbiters of these horrible events is an important issue here; just as Cambodians hope to move on into the future, they fear revisiting the past in international tribunals. The prison population of Tuol Sleng, also known as S-21, was carefully catalogued; in fact, the metal neck brace employed for holding subjects’ heads in place for the admitting photograph is on display. There are some written accounts in English, paintings done by a survivor, and gory photos of the common torture practices in the prison, but perhaps what is most haunting is the fear in the eyes of the newly arrived; one wing of the buildings is dedicated to these very arrival photos. There was also an interesting exhibit of “Where are they now?” photo-essays and information about former guards, what they looked like then, what happened, and where they are now (only 7 prisoners survived). This site is a bit overwhelming for some, so be prepared.

Click on the picture to see it in it´s original size

Sleng, Museum of Genocide (27-10-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in it´s original size

Sleng, Museum of Genocide (27-10-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in it´s original size

Sleng, Museum of Genocide (27-10-2003)

I tell you what, the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot were some feckers. I insist you visit the Prison Website at http://www.bigpond.com.kh/users/dccam.genocide/

It was 5.30pm when i left and I walked 35 minutes abck to the city centre where I stopped at a restaurant for a bite to eat. i had fried rice with Beef and a plate of frogs (no typo here) in ginger and two large bees for 6 USD. The greatest invention in Cambodia is the beer girls.

Every bar, restaurant you go into you are swamped by 10 girls each represnting a different brand of beer from local Anchor to Heineken. They massage you ego (rich men love Heinken) until you buy their brand (they get commission). great idea. i would not mind a slinky thing in a black cocktail dress trying to get me to buy Beamish Stout at home. One problem is that give dropping ice cubes in to your beer with out asking.

i headed abck to the guesthouse around 11.45pm. Its strange as there are only 2/3 paved roads in the city and only 2 have street lighting. I am only 3 blocks from the main street but thaqt means walking three blocks on an unpaved, unlit road with gets quite after 9.00pm. You ahve to be careful in PP.

I watched some rugby on TV before sleep.

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