Black and White

Trip Start Dec 25, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Saturday, August 4, 2007

Black and White

After travelling for a while in Cambodia it became aparant to me that there are no grey areas in Cambodia .  You are either Rich or Poor, Living or Dead, Making it or Not. Yet the land and its people are beautiful in so many ways. Many of the people have nothing and fight to live day to day but will always come up with a smile and some friendly conversation.

In my  first days visiting Cambodia i had something stolen from me. My Heart! The kids at the Peaceful Home Orphanage 2  near Battambang welcomed me with open arms. Played games with me,  showed me traditional dances and shared there stories and laughter with  me, and stole my heart. This is an amazing place where the kids have learned to take care of each other and become one large family. They come from many differnt backgrounds and sercumstances but under Vuthy direction have a chance to go to school, sleep in a bed, and become part of a bigger family and a brighter future.

Ofcourse Cambodia is known for the anciant ruins of Ankor Wat. The majesty of Ankor Wat will definitely leave you in awe.

In the hardships of civil wars in Cambodia people have developed a taste for anything edible. A little girl with a big smile at a routine bus stop help me cure my fear of spiders. As she asked me to by some pineapple from her i couldnt help but notice a large tarantula on her shirt. i asked her about her pet and his name. She was very proud of her new pet and asked if i wanted to hold him. i sayed NO!  but before i knew it had her pet clinging to my shirt and being pocked from behind by another kid to make it crawl up towards my neck. I calmly told him that was enough and continued to talk and joke around,and buy some pinnaple. As i had a look around many things where being offered as snacks. Fried up crickets of varying sizes, fish, duck embrios, and ofcourse large tarantulas. I guess  one had been spared to make a good pet. The crickets are pretty tasty by the way. 

A 5 day motorcycle trip really helped open my eyes to the country and its people. On a bike out in the elements you can really get a feal for a place and its people.  When it rain you have to pull into places that heve never had a forighner stop before and try to converse. Your always offered a drink and a small child to take with you on your journey.  The way led me to a beautiful beach area and the mountains of the south and a place called Bokor national park  near the beautiful river town of Kampot. Theres an old french hill station and town at the top of the mountain 80 km from town. The road is definitely fun on a 250 dirtbike and a challenge for a rented scooter. At the top the views are anazing and perplexing as the old abandoned palace hotel and casino and many other biuldings stand atop of the mountain. This would make a great place for a horror movie or a party. On a bike you can realate better to the people who also use motorbikes as there means for transportation and transporting everything of mass number or size. Only the very rich can afford cars. If your walking well. people find that very odd because only the really dirt poor people walk and you have to be pretty poor not even to own second hand bicycle.

The roads in Cambodia are crammed with everything you can imagine from huge trucks over capacity with loads and people hanging from every available spot. Jacked up Toyota camrys crammed with people acting as taxis between towns. Buses, Tractors, convertd rotto tillers slowly moving masses of people and products, bicycles, mopeds, livestock, you name it its out there on the road and they all follow there own rules. It makes for exciting driving and scenerey around every bend.

I cant say enough about the people though. These people are friendly, helpfull and smiling in the face of dispair. I wish the people of Cambodia all the best in there fight for life in the years to come and   thank them for there hospitality. Because in Cambodia there are no grey areas, just black and white.
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whereshegoes on

Your writing is such a treat to experience. You really use words that color the picture so vividly. Thank you for sharing your gift.

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