These last couple of weeks have been insane. I’ve been all over S.E. Asia and thought it was time for a blog entry but unfortunately had a big night out last night and can barely think straight today. But I’m tired of watching movies yet too lazy to get out of the house.
I don’t even know where to start, so I guess I’ll just give the run down of my adventure in Cambodia. I went with my girlfriend and buddy who came to visit me from France. The civil war just ended five years ago and they still have a lot of weapons around and let you pick them up in the museum.
A visit to this place really puts things in perspective and makes you wonder how anyone could ever support a war. Our tour guide was a soldier in both the Khmer Rouge and then switched sides to the Vietnamese army or would have been executed when they invaded.
He had been shot by an AK-47 three times, his body was full of shrapnel metal and nails, he had a prosthetic leg and was 70% blind. His wife also stepped on a land mind and was killed two years ago. Some questions were asked that he could not answer because the current PM of Cambodia and some elements in Government were in the Khmer Rouge so he had to be extremely careful with his answers.
Most of the beggars in Cambodia have had limbs torn off by the thousands of landmines still strewn about the country and all I could think about was those religious zealot idiots in America who support the war in Iraq as they drive around in their SUV’s and believe God is on their side in promoting war. Damn.
On the positive side, Cambodians are wonderful and extremely resilient people. Our waitress in the restaurant was as cute as a box full of kittens who replied to our requests with “Thank you a moment please.” (Thank you and just a moment please). When she kept saying that it made us just want to give her a big hug.
Although there is a lot of misery in Cambodia, the people are warm and extremely friendly. It is also a very big tourist destination for Asians and the Ankor Wat temples are extraordinary. My girlfriend dragged Ryan and I to about 6 thousand temples in the blazing sun but on the second day we took a break at the Sofitel pool and their wonderful swim up bar.
Cambodia is not the only place we hit, but in the past month I’ve been to Thailand, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Danang, and Hanoi. I’m pooped! For those Vets who wonder what Danang is like now, there is nothing left of the American war machine and nothing mentioned about any war sights listed in Let’s Go which means they have all been built over by economic progress.
Hanoi was also quite the experience. It’s much more solemn than Saigon and the people much more reserved. I spoke to a university student and said that I didn’t find Hanoi people very friendly but she said they were just more quiet than people in Saigon. We visited the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh and saw him in his glass sarcophagi surrounded by four white uniformed guards with bayonets.
It was also extremely interesting hearing the North Vietnamese accent with their heavy use of the “z” sound. So many words are pronounced with the sound “zzzzz” that it makes me think that if bumble bees could talk they would speak with an accent from Hanoi. Zum zaa, zoi zzzunn! In the line to see Ho Chi Minh the guards pick out people who are not dressed respectfully enough and one stern faced 6 foot tall guard picked out a Vietnamese, said something strict and made the guy go to the clothing lending station to put on pants.
In other news, I checked to see how many hits my website was getting and it’s over 1000 a month!! It really makes me wonder who wants to read my ramblings and whatnot. Well, it’s about time for an afternoon nap so I’m gonna conclude this entry here.