Traveling by yourself offers many opportunities for introspection, battling against the mind, opening up to life and creating yourself. While I was purusing the Battambang Central Market for some dinner, a young man named Suat began to speak with me. He was finishing high school and spoke English very well. He also taught Japanese to adults and helped out his family. He was only 17. He told me he wanted to become a tour guide. He took me around the city and suburbs on his motorbike and never asked for money. A few days later after I finished my internet session, the man who owned the cafe offered me a free lunch and asked me about my life. Friendly people abound in Asia.
Riding the Bamboo Train in Battambang was one of the most exhilirating experiences of my life. A young boy basically operates a small bamboo sheet, a small engine and me. It is held lightly onto the railways. There is nothing to hold onto, nothing keeping me on the bamboo. We fly through the Cambodian fields and it feels amazing.
Cambodia is extremely poor. In the 70's the Khmer Rouge took over the country and massacered over 2 million Cambodians. In the 80's Thailand and the leftovers of the Khmer Rouge littered the country with land mines, all you see thousands of people who have arms and legs blown off because of them.
Most sickingly to me was the fact that the United States was one of the prime reasons that the situation escalated into happening. These facts you won't see in any United States historhy book, but you see the truth when you come over here. Not only did the US bomb the hell out of Eastern Cambodia during the Vietnam War. The government tried to hide it from reporters and wanted to pay off the families of the victims.......$100 per family.....how disgraceful. Worst of all, in the 80's the United States financially supported the Khmer Rouge, yes the genocidial dictators that destoyed generations of Cambodians.