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A well deserved break! "La vida es como la espuma hay que hecharse al mar", because "we are here for a short time but for a good time"!!!!

Cambodia and the amazing people.

CAMBODIA | Tuesday, 18 March 2008 | Views [493]

Many of you have reminded me that I failed in keeping up with my blog duty once I got to Cambodia... And there is not much I can say to that of course. My only excuse beeing that as I started to see the end of my trip come closer I chose to reserve the cyberworld very little time and spend more in the real one. You will agree that that was a wise decision...

However, because I promised I would finish what I started and just so my parents could remove the "round twit" plate that was placed in my adolescent bedroom when I was branded with the everlasting getting "round to it" logo, I am about to take you back to the depths of South East Asia and this time right until the end.

The last time I wrote in my journal I was about to leave Siem Reap and expressed the fact that I was prepared to find my trip here somewhat unsettling due to the horrific events that took place only recently in Cambodia. Fellow travellers had warned me that Cambodia could be quite rough at times and yes learning about the country's history and seeing what people whent through here is indeed very disturbing. Travelling around Cambodia is not always easy as they lack the infrastructure, some border crossings are quite tough and poverty prevails. However, this is contrasted by the incredible warmth of the population. Arguably Cambodia is not as lush and beautiful as its neigbouring countries but it undoudbtedly has the most outgoing and friendly people I have ever met. Seeing the tragic events that shaped a big part of these people's lifes, one cannot stop but marvel at their incredible hospitality and sense of humour. One gets the general impression that far from feeling defeated and bitter they have a desire to go forward and make the most out of the life they are able to live today. Politically the country is at a standstill and there are still many failures and contradiction in the system but people will do anything to keep at peace. It seems that for that very reason they avoid looking back more than necessary and are able to come accross as extremely positive and outgoing people. Of course this is a personal opinion and I know too little about the country to be able to give an objective overview. Lets just say that it is the general feeling I got and this is why I enjoyed my time in Cambodia so much. 

I must say that I found people's attitude on the whole to be very uplifting in South East Asia. Maybe because unlike people in the western "civilised" world, they seem to take a lot less things for granted and are thus far more aware of others. People have an easy smile, are helpful, patient and polite. In fact coming back to Europe was a bit of a shock in that sense. I realized that I was starting to take these attitudes for granted, when in fact back in the west they seem to be exceptions to the rule and in the same line of thoughts I had forgotten how morose people in the street look here ... I am aware that I am exagerating somewhat and am beeing a bit harsh here. However, it is quite ironic to come back from a place like Cambodia and see that the same people who have all the real reasons to be unhappy gave me a lesson on positiveness... It makes me wonder what they would think of us?

On that though I shall leave you for now but I promise to write until the end.

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