Thursday, May 19, 2005

Phnom Pen Dispatch

From a friend who's spending a year traveling around Southeast Asia:

Across the "street" from our Phnom Pen guest-house we saw a small bar/restaurant catering to the usual backpacker crowd that resides in this part of town. At 6:30 they advertised The Killing Fields". Chloe and I couldn't resist it and at 6:30 reclined into one of the wicker chairs and ordered drinks. Lemonade for Chloe and Gin & Tonic for me.

The DVD on a mid size TV started. Amidst the constant noise of motorcycles from the pot holed street we watched the horrific history of the Cambodian conflict.

There was a short interruption to our viewing pleasure from a homeless street kid begging for money with his amputee father (land mine?). Three other backpackers on adjacent tables watched the movie with us, washing the city dust and heat with BeerLaos (shitty beer made in Laos - all but I seemed to like it).

They had dinner as well - some of it during the parts showing the Khmer Rouge guards starving the Cambodian prisoners. The German tourist had a Burger and the Australian had fish and chips and then an extra order of french fries and about 5 BeerLaos (did I mentioned that this beer sucks?). I had three G&Ts (very good ones) and then Chloe and I had french fries as well (with ketchup). After all, the movie is 2.5 hours long - one gets hungry watching people starve.

Today we went to see the killing fields. I mean the real place, with hundreds of human skulls in piles as a memorial and numerous human bones still protruding from the ground in the path. No BeerLaos, no G&T.


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