Asia | South East Asia | Cambodia – The Sum of All Routes Remains an Equation
Against the red currents we moved slowly through the north of Cambodia. The monsoon held the sky in a bleak grasp that mirrored the grey intensity of Cambodia’s all-too-recent past. Wary and questioning expressions continued to greet us along the way but when the glance was held for a further moment a gentle smile would curl across the lips, the sincerity of which shone in the sparkling dark eyes.
It has been 3 weeks since we left Cambodia but I am still far from closing the chapter. No facet of the magnificent country can be viewed without acknowledging the brutal past and the results are, almost without fail, contradictory; peaceful greens, forests breathing in the tropical rains, simplistic rural life, in harmony, the laughter of children splashing in the potholes, men on crutches carrying their personal sacrifices for freedom down a broken road into a cratered landscape…with a tear and a smile the country struggles slowly towards tomorrow.
There were places and experiences, adventures and characters but they will all remain anonymous for now. I don’t have a light to put them in. There is no consistent context to which they all could fit. Simply put, I do not yet understand what I have seen there, or how I feel about it.
I wish, in no way, to paint a dark image of Cambodia. It is a beautiful country with some of the warmest people that any journey could lead to. It is a country where the visitor will be confronted with some of the darker shades of humanity while, at the same time, being rewarded with unforgettable smiles and memories. Let’s hope that the situation continues to improve and that time will be kind to the Khmer people and their bloody past. Onward and upward, over and out.