Back in the city!

11 Apr

After a relaxing few days in Kampot, I had to return to the reality of Phnom Penh. I am quickly becoming accustomed to the way of life here and some of it isn’t anything I should be proud of. Mommy, I know you’re reading this so just know that I promise I will buy a helmet soon! The thing I am talking about which I am not proud of is that I have started using motos more often as my mode of transportation. The first time I rode on the back of one, I was absolutely terrified and swore I would never get on one again. But then I got on one again and it wasn’t as scary. The thing is, that at the moment it’s a cheaper way to get from point A to point B and not to mention faster than a tuk-tuk in this crazy traffic. Once again, Mommy, don’t kill me! ūüôā

Being back in Phnom Penh is strangely comforting and I guess that’s because technically it is my home at the moment. I mean I have an apartment, friends, favorite places to eat, and a basic idea of how to get around. There are definitely times when I miss the States but I try not to dwell on those type of feelings so much because I am trying my best to embrace this new and inspiring life that I am living.

Today is the first time I have done something “touristy” in Phnom Penh since my first Sunday spent here. I visited the Tuol Sleng (S-21) Prison. I knew that it would be sad which is why I have avoided it until now but nothing could have prepared me for the feelings I felt as I walked through the school rooms that used to be holding cells for torturing innocent people. I walked through at first struggling with whether I should even take pictures of the place because it just felt so morbid and wrong, but I decided that while¬†painful, moments in history such as the Khmer Rouge should never be¬†¬†forgotten just because it is hard to face. S-21 used was¬†a primary and high school before the Khmer Rouge turned into a detention center where they held people with political or intellectual backgrounds and tortured them until they confessed to things they had not done. ¬†Today it is a very eerie place, made even more so by the fact that you can tell that the rooms you stand it are classrooms and even the gym in the courtyard was warped into some sick torture device.

I spent two hours wandering from room to room, standing in cells, looking at the countless number of pictures of people who would die in those rooms. While I suppose some could spend more time there, it became too overwhelming and I had to leave. I am glad that I went, but unless it is for the documentary they show at certain times, I will not be going back. I am still debating on whether or not to upload the pictures. It probably won’t seem so bad to see the pictures, but in person it was just heartbreaking. But that is something I feel you have to face here, because this whole country is surrounded by reminders of that time and it’s crazy to see it slowly rising from the ground.

Until next time.



2 Responses to “Back in the city!”

  1. Mommy April 11, 2013 at 10:33 PM #

    Do u have to ride on those? They are so dangerous. At least get a helmet. Life is so hard to see sometimes, but at least you have the bravery to experience the sadness of that point in history

    • vitaviva96 April 11, 2013 at 11:12 PM #

      I don’t HAVE to, it’s just more convenient. But I will definitely get a helmet ASAP.

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