Sending 2012 in Vietnam, welcoming 2013 in Cambodia.
As if that’s not awesome enough, the most handsome guy in our traveling pack of four had his international network worked out so well that resulted in the four of us Indo kids practicing our broken Spanish with this tight Colombian family.
In Angkor Wat.
Vietnam and Cambodia’s tourism lies int its heart, a gut-wrenching soul-destroying history. Respecting the long arduous journey they’ve gone through also resulted in us visiting killing sites, genocide camps and horrible imageries our imagination dare not to visit. I think I would have cruised through life just fine without ever knowing how Pol Pot tortured his country women and men. And child. Unspeakable evil of greater proportiong. It was hard to comprehend that such vile bile of evil could exist. But it did. And again I questioned the kind God that got me through hard times. Was He there when they bashed the babies’ heads into the tree? Did He hear the mothers scream and the children wail? And what was their Purpose of Life? Born in a camp, smashed to pieces before seeing the daylight of their first year. Questioning one’s purpose in life seems such a trivia reserved for the bourgeois. And oh how I have been indulgent.
And so restlessness and deep sadness slowly and smoothly weaved between the banh mi and the pho and the delicious Cambodian curries and the Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Rider Shooting site. That one day that we spent with the Colombian friends, and an impromptu picture with the very cute non-English speaking Japanese girl right smack in the middle of the picture above, was almost a gift sent from above. Yes, most likely the same ‘above’ that let Pol Pot killed all those people. Just saying. Swimming pool splashes and whiskey shots (I think?). Bars and cocktails smartened with rose petals. Choppy conversations peppered with smiles and plenty of hearty laughters.
It was the dollop of cream to my crumbling cake.
So there is a first for everything as there is a time to humbly admit that you understand only a small portion of the universe that perhaps you’ll never see fully of in your lifetime. Making peace with contradictions, conflictions and raging fire dancing with snowballs.
2013 sees me listing at least one “First time I…” moment each week. They will be updated here as time crawls.