Within ten feet you see the difference between Cambodia and Vietnam. The faces, the language the odd mix of local currency and USD. The roads seam to scream dust.
You dodge trash and find your way down a suspiciously dark street. As you walk into the bar about twenty or so prostitutes say “hello” in unison. The only reason they don’t swarm is because a girl is already with you. As you watch the street from the balcony a prostitute glances up at you and opens her mouth wide to lick her lips. You feel almost famous by the attention. You don’t even want to but the ease of it all makes it tempting.
The night is blown away by dust as you make your way on a tuk tuk to one of The Killing Fields. There are literally bones coming out of the earth. You can’t tell if you just stepped on a stone or a bone. Across the chain-link fence a man begs for money of foreigners trying to comprehend a massacre that most of their governments helped to cause in one way or another. The irony that this memorial for the killings during the Cambodian Wars is almost only accessible to foreigners. A nation’s history for others. The dust stings your eyes as you realize how Cambodia is seemingly incomprehensible. As you stare at the high school turned prison and torture camp where only seven out of more than five thousand people survived.
The dust from the road swirls around you in the same way that your thoughts are twisting in your brain. Pol Pot and other Khmer Rouge leaders were once teachers, yet they used schools for torture, killed any intellectual and basically forced their people into slavery in order to liberate them. The leaders were the very people they said were bad. The insanity of intellectuals liberating people from other intellectuals.
You want to stay in Phnom Phen for longer, but you don’t know what you’d do so you are going to a beach tomorrow instead.
There are many dusty roads in Cambodia and one day you hope to see through the dust.