January 12, 2012
I have much to report, but I must start with news of a loss, a loss that Susie feels deeply.
Yes, her mosquitos zappers are gone.
We arrived at the airport and noticed that these paddle-like zappers seemed to be on the list of items that cannot be carried on. Since the announcement was written well in Cambodian and confusingly in English, we determined that we were OK to have them in our checked luggage, but not the carry-ons.
In fact, we were amused to see pictures of the zappers with a circle and slash through them right between “fireworks” and “grenades”. [Note: I realize that as I write this, we should have pieced it together that they were absolute no-no’s, but we did not. I think we were living in denial. Knowing Susie’s deep, deep emotional connection to the sound of crackling mosquitos, none of us allowed ourselves to consider the possibility of her losing them. Yes, we had three.]
We checked our luggage and were in line for security. A stern-looking Cambodia approached me and asked my name while holding a slip of paper. Looking at the page, I saw something that looked like my name in the middle of some Cambodian writing.
I showed him my boarding pass with the luggage slips on it.
“Please come with me.”
My money belt, backpack, phone and computer were on the other side of the x-ray machine with the family. I asked to retrieve my stuff..
“No. Just take boarding pass and passport.”
He handed me off to another security guard who escorted me to a special room called “package inspection”. After an additional security check., they handed me a large black bag with a big backpack in it. As I opened it, I saw that it was not mine, but either Susie’s or Terrill’s light blue models.
I still have no idea what the issue is.
I show them sleeping bags, a make-up bag and a silk robe. I start to open a top area.
“No, the middle please.”
I dutifully opened the middle area and started to pull out items. It was then I saw the zapper racquets. I pointed to them. He nodded.
I extracted them while picturing my wife’s sadness.
She took it well. The gnashing of teeth was held to a minimum and we had no sack-clothe or ashes. Still, she has sworn to find some for the buggy trip through Vietnam that we are now starting.
But I have not completed my report on Cambodia. There is so much and so little to report.
Why “so much”? We have seen some of the most spectacular ruins in the world. We visited over a dozen sites.
Why “so little”? I do not know how I can communicate these sites in words. They seem to have elements of Mayan architecture with an odd mixture of Hindu and Buddhist images. Most were made by a small group of 4 or 5 great kings, begging the question what the rest of the kings did with their time.
Again, I think the best approach might be to share some of the better photos and add the occasional comment.
If you look closely, the left features humans and the right shows gods/demons. The lead human in a on a chariot drawn by a horse, his multi-armed enemy has a dragon-powered chariot.
We saw carvings that are around 1200 years old that look like they were done earlier this year.
Let me finish with an odd observation.
This structure is over 1100 years old, and still looks great.
This structure is probably less than 2 years.
There is still a little to report. We enjoyed an exotic and unusual meal. We also swung on branches, tried to lose a camera bag and watched Cambodian children play in the water.