While we ate and drank coffee, we talked a little bit about the contemporary Cambodian political scene and education in the country. I was not surprised to learn that Cambodian children are not taught about the DK Period in school, nor are they taught about it by their parents, which could be a traumatic retelling in itself. Instead, young people in
Cambodia learn of their country’s
most recent past by watching YouTube videos, on line.
It was finally time to go and Bunleng dropped me off at the minivan office. We each said our “lia sun hai” (goodbye) and then my Cambodian friend was gone. We have since kept in touch and already have plans for my second trip.
Gotta admit, though, that Bunleng messed up at this point. He had arranged my travel from Siem Reap to the border at Poipet/Aranyaprathet in a minivan packed to the seams with mostly Falang. That wasn’t so bad, as it turned out, but when I found out I could have gotten on a much bigger local bus for one-third the price, I had to admit that I had made a mistake not handling my travel arrangements to the border, myself. One good thing about the minivan trip was that I got to listen in on two guys I guessed to be in their late twenties, who were much more travelled than me, talking about their experiences in “The Stans,” of which Afghanistan and Pakistan are most familiar to Americans, but there are three other Stans more remote.