The Cambodian sun in April (the hottest month) is a force to be feared!
I spent the last of my three day pass exploring around the temples again, this time at the temple where the movie “Tomb Raider” was filmed. It was amazing to see the huge tree roots that had just engulfed these temples and tore them apart over centuries. Some of the trees were easily 10 ft wide in diameter and they cast shade over the temple site which invites moss and vines to creep up the stone walls. Its no wonder they chose such an intriguing site to film the movie.
At one of the temples, I was surrounded by the usual mob of little kids selling postcards and bracelets. I had already purchased postcards from one of them. One of the boys could not have been more than 7 years old and counted the 10 postcards for me in English, then French, then Spanish, then German. I was thinking…wow! I started counting in Mandarin Chinese to see if he knew and he finished my numbers up to 10! I would be willing to bet that he knew Japanese as well. How many adults do you know that can count to ten in 7 languages? Unfortunately its probably all the education he is going to receive because his parents have him out of school to work the tourists.
A Cambodian police officer approached me on top of the temple, which was strange, the temple was small and really did not merit having security full time.
“Would you like to buy a souvenir?”
It took a minute for my rusty brain to comprehend that a uniformed police officer was asking me like everyone else to buy something.
I answered “no thank you”.
“No…you should buy a souvenir”. His face was serious.
He had something shiny in his hand…Im thinking, WTF is this guy trying to sell me. He gets close enough and I can see that its his badge! It took a full 5 or 6 seconds for me to realize that he is “encouraging” me to buy a souvenir, I guess from the kids…who knows. My friend Kara was watching the whole event take place and wondering what the hell I was up to. I politely but firmly told the guy that I had already bought something and that I had spent a LOT of money in Cambodia….which was no stretch. After a lot of smiling at each other and me keeping my cool and confidence, he walked away and left us alone. My heart was racing because earlier in my travels I met a 19 year old German girl that was robbed by a police officer here. Fortunately, it was broad daylight and I got off easy.
My American friend Kara and I celebrated the end of our adventures by exploring Angkor What, the famous after hours pub here until 03:00am….it was probably the most dangerous temple that we have explored as of yet, at least feels like it. She is off today to Bangkok to meet her BF so once again, I am on my own and a vagabond. I will never get over my addiction to the feeling that you get when you do not know what the immediate future holds….