Nicola's Eastern Adventure travel blog


7th May

Hardcore day. Up early and visited s21, Which is a school right in the middle of town which was taken over by Pol Potts and turned into a prison where every single person who entered was tortured to death. We all clubbed together and got a guide and this time it was well worth it. He was 8years old when this was going on and lost 3of his brothers. Totaly crazy to think this rediculous system was allowed to happen on suh recent history. He gave great insight to the whole story and was quite emotional at points. The most eerie part was that nothing had realy changed since, as it was so recent. Right in the middle of busy streets it hadn't been converted to a museum it was just there with a few plaques next to the actualy beds and cells which had been slopply made by dividing the classrooms with bricks. We were walking on bloodstains. We split up and I went upstairs alone where I found one of the most emotive photography I've ever seen. There was also comparisons of mug shots of the soilders who worked there next to recent photos of them taken only a few years ago playing happily with their children and various statments saying that they had no choice but to torture innocent people, it was a matter of survival and they didn't regret it. Emma and louise had stayed downstairs and met one of the survivors. Apparetly he hangs around here often to tell his story. Emma had shook his hand and then it all got a bit much. We all left to go reluctantly to the killing fields where the mass genocide took place. It was such a peacefully pretty bit of countryside with nothing but excuvated dips in the ground to remind us what it was. Apparently there are more graves but the nation can't bare to dig them up so they are left burried. As you walk around where feet have worn a path down bits of clothing teeth and bones are being exposed, everyone seems so blasé about it and the Cambodian people have just seemed to have moved on. Everyone we have experienced have been stupidly happy, it's just because their glad it's all over, which is a goodway to be I suppose. 

As I was wandering I heard singing and found some kids behind the fence seperating the site from the surroundings. I took a few pictures and they wanted to see them so we were passing sign language through the chicken wire. All they wanted was a bottle of water and when it was passed through they skipped around like it was Christmas. I was in suh a wierd mood and the giggling from the kids in the sunlight of the hurrendous place made it even stranger.

We left for a cafe where a tuna sandwhich picked everyone up.

The girls decide to go to the Russian market where I sweated out possibly more than my own body weight. Beads were running down my legs and forhead quicker than a leaking tap. Mark better be greatful as I had the most uncomfortbale haggle making everyone wait on the verge of fainting. As soon as the deal was done we raced back to some air conditioning and fell asleep again. Lou and I had a giggle as she thought my incurable hunger may be a side effect of the anti-milarials were on she red out the common side effects and one was 'loss of appetite' imagine what I would be if I wasn't taking these oversized tablets.

Our gap leader knew our tour guide from today so he invited us to his house for tea. He ran an after school English booster class for local children who all attended with enthusiasm. I spoke for ages with one girl whow was keen to practice. She told menshe wanted to be an English teacher aswel but had no desire to leave Cambodia. She loves her life looking after her youbger brothers, cooking for all her family as both parents and older brothers work full time in a factory. She just wishes that she could have more school hours. She eventually built up the corage to ask me if I had a boyfriend and had a right cheeky giggle. It literally cracked me up.

Dinner was epic. It had taken all day to prepare and they had gone full out. We sat upstairs in the wooden house on the same bamboo mats where 30people slept every night, we could hear the youngest laughing at cartoons nextdoor. After the best food weve all tasted in Cambodia the father of the family poured us each some of him home brewed rice wine. It was in a huge plastic container and had turantulars floating in it. Magic ingredient. After burining our taste buds off a spider was handed round and I took the opportunity of a leg. The worst bit was cracking it off the body. It tastes of alcohol then wood then wouldn't disintergrate no matter how much I chewed. Got a bit frantic and had to mentaly prepare myself to swallow it. Was like a stick of leather in my mouth. The group talked Lou into eating it if someone else broke it off for her. She did well. We were both ok until someone started asking if it was hairy and then we kept convincing ourselves we had hair in our teeth. 

Went back and played cards but the heat beat most of us so it was an early night. I couldn't sleep so I went downstairs to the Internet (Mam- Karine has added the Yangshou photos on facebook). It was one in the morning I was sitting direstly under a fan and was still mopping my sweaty face with napkins. I can't comprehend this heat. The suns gone, why is this happening?

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8th May

Long day of travelling. Got a pulic bus taking us to the coast. When we eventually got there it was amazing. Well worth the wait. We were staying in little beach hit style rooms right across from the beach. The sea was also hot hot hot, couldn't get over it. Was a higher temperature than most hotel swimming pools. I stayed in ages, swam a bit out and just bobbed around. Was glad I did as the beach was full of local kids trying to sell you stuff. They bullied lou into buying a bracelett she didnt want and kept saying to all the girls oooo you have hairy legs/armpits as they were trying to sell threading. A dew people also got pedicures/manicures. There's just no point in me getting any.

We had a walk along the beach near sunset and found Rosie from India! She's with a different set of friends now but is going to meet us for a drink tonight.

We had our meal on the beach just by our hotel. Loads of resteraunts set up their tables in the sand. It's nice to have your feet in the sand while your eating. We stayed their all night for drinks (in sandcastle buckets), chats and dancing. To end the night we all went for a swim. The waters such a good temperature and the stars are so bright out here. Plus we get a lie in tomorrow!

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9th May

LIE IN LIE IN! Emma even managed one. I had blue cheese pasta for breakfast in our beach hut cafe then we all went for a blind massage. Our tour leader Charlie got up drunk and had three beers with us and our breakfast pasta before we left the hotel. Maybe he's trying to save money as a pint of draft beer is literally half the price of a can of pop!

The massage was super good, sorted my back right out. Because the massuses ar blind their meant to have a higher perception of knotted muscles and intuition when it comes to fixing them. Mine was pushing pressure points more than massaging but afterwards no muscles were jumping and I felt good. She spent so much time on my back and shoulders she ran out of time for my front. Must have needed it. We have lost Charlie.

We then returned to the beach where a few girls continued the pampering with threading, louise braved the armpits. I had a nap. Woke up on my lounged after sunset and they were putting out tables around me. Time for a quick change and shower before a few of us had to knock on Charlie to wake him up and invite him out for food at another beach meal and cheeeeeeeap drinks in a beach bar/club. Was so relaxing to just be able to sit on cushions listening to the water. And there was Lways a lady gaga dance floor for the group members who wanted it

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