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January 21, 2011

Part I - Cambodia Condensed - A “Two-a-Day Series” of Our Time in Cambodia:

(Photo: Schwary)
(Bangkok, Thailand to Siem Reap, Cambodia): 
Boarded and deboarded the bus from Thailand to Cambodia five times. The deep seeded paranoia between the two governments must be the reason. Stood in line while I was trying to cross the last boarder into Cambodia talking to a Swedish guy about chewing tobacco for thirty minutes, non-stop. Funny to find someone more passionate about tobacco that me. Actually, it’s more weird than funny.  Rode a taxi for two hours while subjected to a continues stream of honking. I didn’t know what to think, but Marie sure did, she  did what most humans are conditioned to do while confronted with something unpleasant, she asked him to stop. It worked. Arrived to our hotel, well, after looking at one right before it. Hotel was too dirty though. The one we picked cost only $20. Not too shabby if clean is something you find important. But maybe it was too clean, maybe it didn't fit the overall spirit of the city we were in?  Exhausted, we fell asleep. The next day was gonna be huge. Famous temples of Angkor Wat were at the top of tomorrow’s docket.

Monk & Me (Schwary)
(Siem Reap):

Wey (pronounced like “way” in the English language) was the name of the man that picked us up at 12 p.m. sharp outside the doorsteps of our clean hotel. We arrived at the gates of Angkor Wat sometime shortly thereafter.  Security photos were taken of us that were miraculously zapped into the face of out entrance tickets. Price, 20 bucks. Cheap for what we were about to experience, but expensive for our six month budget. I figure money can’t control every decision, especially when it matters. Never mind, I’ll explain that part later. Maybe not.  Our jaws dropped. The spiritual grandeur and mystical architecture of the temples were photographed by my tired yet determined camera over 550 times. That’s a lot for me. But maybe not when I consider what my lens had the opportunity to focus on. I hope every little black camera that comes out of the factories in Japan are so lucky to see the things my camera has gotten to see. Sorry, that’s another novel. Spent three hours walking around. In one temple, out the other. Talked to a young monk for a while. It made me feel old when it ran across my conscious mind that this peaceful looking little man could be my child. Ended up teaching him some English from a copied excerpt of a book he had that I never learned the name of. However, I remember two of the three words that I taught him; suspicious, and targeted. It was challenging, but I figured the photo opps that he appeared to enjoy was a fair exchange. I like to teach. Maybe I can return to Cambodia to do some more of that? Hopped back on the tuk-tuk with Mom and Marie and road some more around the park. We gawking at the temples as the passed on by.  Sure would be lovely to see that kind of scenery on my normal commute to work. Handed out more dollar bills to every little kid that asked. I was a pushover. That’s not very common for me, but I suppose the poverty around me was so thick it was something I didn’t really have a choice over. In fact, I’m emphatically opposed to non-sustainable development, but try telling that to the little girl I just gave a buck to that looked like she hadn’t showered since the last time you got a mani/pedi. My eyes teared. We moved on. We crossed a bridge I fell in love with. I think that bridge ranked up there with the St. George in Prague and the Pont Alexander in Paris. Climbed a hill to see the sunset. Actually, there were three of ‘em due to a couple of clouds that split the sun into three perfect balls. We slowly descended the hill and quickly went to eat. Good pizza. Marie had Amok. She loves Amok. I have a feeling that’s the dish she’s gonna learn to prepare if we ever take a cooking classes before we leave Cambodia? Amok is green. It kinda looks like split pea soup but with lots of seafood and no peas.   Overstimulated and underwear on, we fell fast asleep.

Pics of this Two Day Clip in Cambodia:

Means of Transportation (Schwary) 
About to Conquer (Schwary)
Mom Made it to Cambodia (Schwary) 
Two Beautiful Specimens (Schwary)
Photo for the Brag Book (Schwary)
Angkor Wat & Mom (Schwary)
Mom & Me (Schwary)
Ridding Tuk-Tuk (Schwary)
4 Sided Buddha Head (Schwary)
Photo Opp (Schwary)
Mom, Hanging on for Dear Life (Schwary) 
Marie on Favorite Bridge (Schwary)
Mom on Sunset Hill (Schwary)
Meat Market (Schwary)
Sunset Hill (Schwary)
Entrance of Angkor Wat (Schwary)

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