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A world of contrasts

CAMBODIA | Saturday, 27 October 2007 | Views [348]

Today I went to the markets. My mission is to get a digital camera but also to check out the scene. The first stop was the central market. it was like the biggest flea market that I have ever seen. The building is a huge yellow dome with only one floor of little partitions that serve as shops. It was very congested and, after passing through the meat area with hanging, unrefrigerated meats, I knew my time inside would need to be abbreviated. I found some beautiful silks and a few other gifts. We then went to the Sony and camera stores. The contrast in consumerism was striking. This is a country where 40% live on a dollar a day but here are the plasma TV's and camcorders for thousands of dollars. The other notable perspective is that many on the street are relatively young - under 25. The killing of citizens by the Khmer Rouge in the 70's decimated the population in the 40+ ages so you rarely see anyone over 60. It is interesting to think about how a society moves forward with very few elders remaining and so much death in its history. When I return from Angkor Wat, I will go to the museums with the information about the Killng Fields. My friend Nancy tells me about when she lived here ten years ago and many of the streets were unpaved, muddy during the rains and dusty in the high heat. Change in so many areas has been rapid in this world.

Tags: Markets

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