We took a public bus to the Cambodia border yesterday morning. We arrived in Phnom Penh (pronounced ‘panom pen’ ‘p’ as in ‘pup’ and then ‘pen’) in the afternoon. As soon as we crossed the border, the poverty of Cambodia versus Vietnam was very apparent. There are beggars everywhere. After arriving, we went to a cafe by the river and people watched, until an elephant walked by. Yes, Nelly the Elephant was just walking down the street, past cars and motorbikes, it was the weirdest thing. Hilarious!
Today was probably the most depressing day of the trip. We toured S-21, the prison during the Khmer Rouge regime and then went to the Killing Fields. I felt pretty sick to my stomach by lunch time. And I didn’t take any pictures, because it just seemed to sick to photograph. I’d heard of the Khmer Rouge, but really had no idea about Cambodian history. It’s hard to imagine that something so awful in human history happened so recently.
We went to our S-21/Killing Field guide’s house for dinner. He runs an English school out of his home, so we played with the kids before dinner. My girls were hilarious. We talked about our families and then played rock, paper scissors and they taught me one of those hand clapping games (very similar to the kind we played in elementary school). Then we took a few pictures. Here’s one of them “posing”, they’d fit right in in Japan. ;) Anyway, dinner was huge and delicious! Cambodian food is excellent. And for dessert we had deep fried tarantula and tarantula wine. I ate a tarantula leg… it was really salty.