. They are almost always smiling and friendly, very gentle, of course still offering to sell you all manner of things from tuk-tuk rides to pirated copies of books but the way that they do it is so inoffensive and they are rarely pushy.
We left Phnom Penh this morning by bus (5hrs.) to get to Sihanoukville which so far seems very relaxed. We're staying at a really nice bungalow on Serendipity beach, complete with hammock and front porch and aircon (all the fan rooms are always taken, pfft.) Hopefully we're going to meet up with Chris and Jessica, the Canadians we keep running into, and we'll try and convince them to check out Bamboo Island with us, which is a nearby, apparently gorgeous island with less people and more beach.
Moving quickly through Cambodia, we only stayed in Phnom Penh for 1 1/2 days. Not because we didn't like it, but because there's only so much to see. We spent a day to go to the killing fields where the genocide of thousands of innocent Cambodians occurred by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge not even 30 years ago. It was a sobering experience to stand infront of the 'bone monument' - a glass tower filed with the skulls of those bodies found buried in the area. We followed that by going to S-21, a highschool that was converted into a torture prison where alleged 'cia' operatives were made to confess things they did not do. A great deal of these 'cia agents' were children of no more than 12. Leftover from the Pol Pot era in each classroom of S-21 were metal beds with devices such as icepicks and hacksaws.. some photographs on the walls of people mid-torture... you can imagine how difficult it was to look at these things and think about what horrors went on there. Such a terrible thing, and the people here persevere despite all of it