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a brief history lesson for all...

Written on: Wednesday March 28th, 2007


i just want to share an AMAZING experience i had today in Phnom Penh... i arrived here yesterday and met 6 people on my 7 hour bus to cambodia... two canadian girls, a british guy and girl, an american guy and a german guy (who really creeps me out!)...
anyway, so this morning our crew of 7 decided to check out the TUOL SLENG genocide museum and the killing fields in phnom penh. for those of you who don't know cambodian history, here's a very very brief history lesson:
basically there was this little boy who failed miserably at school. he went crazy and changed his name to POL POT (meaning: Politique Potential"), and became the prime minister of cambodia from 1976 to 1979.
during his time in power (only 30 years ago!), Pol Pot instigated an aggressive policy of relocating people to the countryside in an attempt to purify the cambodian people as a step toward a communist future. he secretly imprisoned, tortured and killed over 2 million people. although the vast majority were cambodians, there were people from all over the world too.
anyway, so after he was done torturing these people in many many disgusting and horrifying ways, he would send them to the "killing fields" where they were executed and thrown into shallow graves. (at the killing fields there is this massive tower that holds thousands and thousands of skulls and clothes that were recovered from the gravesites...)
also, the tuol sleng s-21 prison, where these people were tortured, used to be a high school and then a primary school was added on. then when Pol Pot, came into power he turned both of the schools into a secret prison, which is now a genocide museum. it was pretty much left as is, which resembles something out of a horror movie - anyone seen "session 9"?.
anyway, Pol Pot eventually died 1998 (not that long ago!) from natural causes.
so that was my depressing day. the whole experience was extremely heartbreaking but it was also amazing to see because i honestly had no clue about cambodian history until i came here... and i still can't believe that that happened only 30 years ago.
the rest of my story (which is kind of an oxymoron) is that after the killing fields, me and the two English (the creepy German came along too) decided to go shoot some AK 47's. NOW THAT WAS A FUCKING COOL EXPERIENCE! sooooooooooo cool! i shot 12 bullets. it was AMAZING. and i know i hit that target.... (the guy told me!)
i'll post some pics when Emily sends them to me....
anyway, back to thailand tomorrow. for those of you who know kanami, i'm meeting her in krabi!! can't wait.