Friday, August 2, 2013

Cambodia: A rainbow of observations

So this is going to be more like a fact sheet than anything else. I took SO many notes that it would take me far too long to write well-flowing paragraphs.... and if I don't do it now, I won't do it at all.

[I visited the Angkor temples the past two days, and I will be making a separate post about that]

There are a lot of Lexus cars here. It seems to be the go-to for the people of greater means.

The more I learn about the history in Asian countries, the more upset I become about having only learned about American and western history in school. I'm sure there was an option in my university to take a course on Asian history, but I never knew.... or rather, I guess I never cared to search. I've come to realize that there is SO much about the world I just don't know. There is SO much history in Asia, and the countries are vastly different; each with their own individual histories. Considering American fancies itself a "melting pot," it seems quite counter-intuitive that schools would omit the historical backgrounds of a huge portion of it's population. I'm a little upset with myself for not having been more curious before now. It's really distressing that so many Americans think that Western history is the only history there is.

Seeing trees growing ON TOP of walls, might be some of the coolest things I've ever seen. Quite possible the coolest natural phenomenon.

I saw a tiny girl hacking up sugar cane with a huge machete.

I saw a farmer with one leg, working on his crops.

There are so many cows, dogs, and chickens around Siem Reap and Angkor.

Traveling in certain parts of Asia, things can tend to blend together. I feel like sometimes people I encounter look down their noses at me because I don't necessarily want to take a bike tour through rice paddies. Sorry, but I've seen rice grow. Interesting: yes. New experience: no. I mush prefer to see the things that make a country or region interesting and unique. Of course sometimes I will want to do the touristy things or see something that I've maybe seen in another country. However, I choose to do those extras if I have the luxury of time.

Cambodian food is SO good. Nothing I've tried has had a super strong flavor, which is why it could be universally appealing. It's full of humble, yet well-matched flavors, and is not nearly as intimidating as you might assume Southeast Asian food could be.

A lot of kids in Cambodia don't go to school. I'm not sure of the statistic, but there are a lot of kids on the street or out and about during what should be school time. Occasionally, I'll see a kid in a uniform hopping into a van, but I don't think education is a real priority. I can't say for sure; that's just how it seems.

I saw people fishing today! It involved jumping into the river with nets. It was really cool to see loads of people out grabbing fish out of the river. It was definitely way different from pier fishing! AND to sweeten the deal, there was a guy wearing a Boryeong Mud Festival shirt! I couldn't believe it. I think it was a staff shirt from the previous year,.

I was really lucky and happened to miss rain BOTH days I visited the temples. I would see people in rain gear walking around, bu I must have just missed it. Super lucky!

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