Kampuchea (Part II)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The more you see of the world, the smaller you feel. 

And when I experienced Cambodia during the June holidays, that's exactly how I felt - so incredibly small. For most of the trip, I sat next to the window on the bus and looking out, watching the Cambodians go about in their daily life, doing things that were so different than what most Singaporeans do on a daily basis and thinking about how this is merely one other country apart from my own, blew my mind. 

I mean, how incredibly vast is this world if we actually think about it? And what left me melancholy was the knowledge that I would never get to see and experience the entire world and that I would always be ignorant about something, somewhere out there. 

With that said, I shall let the photographs do most of the talking. As a continuation from my first post about the Cambodia trip, the next three days were spent touring Phnom Penh as well as a visit to a dump-site to conduct a hygiene programme for the kids there. I didn't capture any photographs of the visit there, but needless to say, it was eye-opening.  

The skulls of victims of the Khmer Rouge being displayed in the Choeung Ek Killing Fields

The stupa built in commemoration of the victims of the Khmer Rouge 

The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, which used to be a high school before it was turned into an execution center during the Khmer Rouge

Streets of Cambodia 

We had a Vietnamese buffet for lunch on our first day of R&R

More streets - the traffic in Cambodia is insane, no one really follows the traffic rules, if there are any to start with. 

With my buddies Kelvinder and Charmain after shopping at the Central Market, where we had a lot of fun bargaining with the shopkeepers - ok mainly it was Kelvinder bargaining while Charmain and I tried to keep a straight face, which of course was something I failed miserably in doing. 

"Bro Bo" on a tuk tuk transporting hygiene and food packs to the dump-site 

The J2 girls in our hotel room :-)  The place was really shady with doors that required us to jump to open them/ doors that never stopped beeping. The craziest moment was when the hotel staff passed Gloria and Meena the master key that could unlock all the doors in the entire hotel just because their door couldn't open and the staff weren't bothered enough to check up on it themselves. But of course, this was a lot better than having to bathe from wells filled with tadpoles. 

The Russian market

With my buddies again - this time we got a lot more experience bargaining and were better able to snag good deals :-) 

We headed to BBQ chicken for lunch and their olive chicken is to die for. The prices here are so much cheaper than in Singapore - this was US$3.90 if I'm not wrong. 

With my Swensens' strawberry cheesecake ice cream which was so good and it was only US$1.20 which is such a steal. 

After our shopping mall experience, we had to head to the airport and here we have Daniel and Bozhou sharing an ice cream 

My final purchase from Cambodia - four macarons that I might have just bought because #aesthetics 

The plane ride home was rather uncomfortable because I felt myself falling sick. To add to the situation, I didn't have water with me (and more importantly, did not want to buy overpriced water!) so while I didn't exactly want to leave Cambodia, coming back to Singapore was very comforting. I fell sick for around two days so I could only start properly studying in the middle of the second week of the June holidays which made me quite nervous about how prepared I would be by the time CTs came around. 

Now that CTs are over and I know I've said this before but I'll say it again - I have absolutely no regrets signing up and going for this trip with some of the best people. Somehow I felt really at peace and happy throughout the entirety of the June holidays despite spending most of it heading to school and I believe that part of the reason is because I got a lot more comfortable with myself as a person and my flaws through one week spent in an unfamiliar environment. 

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