We get up and grab breakfast at the Mad Monkey restaurant. The menu really is good there. Lots of variety: Western, Indian, Mediterranean, local Khmer, Mexican and a few full day breakfast options. MacKay and I were definitely thankful for it, we may have to stay away from local foods. I’ve already had 2 run ins this trip with sickness and don’t really want to be bedridden every other day.
We use the morning to take care of business. At the front desk we each toss some laundry in, it’s only a couple bucks. I’ve got about a weeks worth of clothes in my pack. Kept things packed pretty light. But with the near constant sweating from the humidity I’m not really wanting to be wearing the same shirt multiple days in a row. Fortunately laundry has been super cheap and easy thus far.
We also put in for our Vietnam visas at the front desk. They have a service where they take your passport to the consulate for you and I guess it comes back with a visa in it. We fill out a sheet of paper that basically details everything in the passport and some travel itinerary stuff (that we just make up since we don’t really have an itinerary). It’s a little unsettling letting someone run off with your passport, but I think we’ll be fine. I hope. If it works out it will be incredibly convenient. They say we’ll get them back tomorrow. Takes the same amount of time to get a Vietnam visa as it does to do laundry apparently.
I take some time to learn about the Cambodian Bum Gun
We sit and have some Tigers in the Mad Monkey restaurant and spend some time catching up on the blog. Around mid day we decide it’s time to get out to the Killing Fields. We inquire with a tuk tuk driver out front of the hostel. It will take a half hour in each direction and cost us 6 bucks. Sounds good! We’re off.
The Killing Fields are on the outskirts of Phnom Pehn and wow did things get grungy quickly outside the city. “Man, It’s just one giant dumpster”, it was true, the quality of the city deteriorated away to just dilapidated shanties, the river and streets were littered with trash and the roads were shit. The smells were vile as our tuk tuk careened through the town. MacKay and I covered our faces with our buffs. I don’t think we’ve looked this gangster since El-BP lost it’s brakes in Guatemala.
We get to the Killing Fields area and our tuk tuk driver says he’ll wait off to the side for us while we go inside. The front gate says ‘Choeng Ek Genocidal Center”, we’re getting into something heavy here, I’ve got that sinking feeling.
There’s a sign that says to please be respectful and wear low profile clothing. I’m not sure if Drisdelle’s button up shirt with Lobsters eating french fries print qualifies as low profile. He’s actually not even close to the most inappropriately dressed person here.
We’re each given an audio device and a map. The map has numbers corresponding to points of interest. You punch the numbers into the audio device and hear about each thing. I put the headphones on and start the tour.
What I heard in those headphones over the next hour or so was absolutely horrifying.