(The killing fields in Cambodia)
I was somewhere
in the chaotic streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia when I found myself in a small pizza shop. It was a little hole in the wall restaurant packed between souvenir stores. This was next to one of the main roads where the tuk-tuk’s zipped by spraying gusts of dirt from the unpaved roads. The place seemed to be crumbling piece by piece. You could see it under the dead weight of the dilapidated bricks crushing down on each other. The integrity and structure of the whole city seemed to be holding on by nothing more than a bit of luck and a fleeting prayer.
Only one lady was inside with her little baby sleeping in a makeshift hammock in the corner behind the tables. It rocked back and forth gently making a faint squeaking sound that reverberated quietly through the place bringing setting an ominous tone. She came over to the table with a little notepad and took my order. I asked for a small pizza and a fruit smoothie.
“How happy do you want the pizza?”
“How happy can it get?”
“It can be super happy,” she said as a little smirk curled in the corner of her mouth.
“I think I know what you mean,” I said. “Make it look like a leaf.”
She went behind the counter and into the kitchen where she cooked the pizza herself. She came back about fifteen minutes later with a pizza and smoothie and laid them on the table.
“Super happy,” she said.
As I observed the steaming pizza on the table,
it almost looked like it had a deep shade of brown laced throughout a leafy green that layered into the cheese. Looking closer, I realized that she had cooked the weed right into the cheese of the pizza. At first glance, it looked like a vegan pizza topped with nothing but small fragments of burned lettuce.
After I smashed the pizza, I moseyed back to her kitchen peaking inside like some bleak fugitive looking for shelter. She knew what I was back there for. She handed me a sandwich bag full of the devils lettuce for ten American dollars. I rolled two little doobies on on the table inside then hopped into the back of a tuk tuk where I was taken to Pol Pots killing fields.
It seemed like a good idea
at the time but the psychological torment wouldn’t be known until I was standing next to an old tree that was used to smash babies on before throwing them into a mass grave.
For those of you who don’t know the history of the killing fields, I’d suggest you do a quick Google search of Pol Pot. You’ll catch on quickly. I was basically taken out to the edges of the city and walked through a field where millions of people were murdered and tossed into humongous mass graves that spread out for as far as the eye could see. Loose bones still stuck up sporadically from the dirt you walked over. There was one tree in the middle that would blare the communist party music through the field to drown out the screams and cries of the tortured from the rest of the city around.
When I put on the head phones to hear the replica of the old communist songs of slaughter, my happy pizza brain went wild in imagination. I could almost feel the souls of the departed and got this creeping sensation of evil that trickled up my spine. A gruesome reality had spiked up into a diabolical imagine in my head. It was even more horrifying knowing that this only happened in the late 1970’s. People lived through it and were still walking around the streets of Phnom Penh.
At the end of the killing fields in Cambodia
was a large platform that had a stack of human skulls that raised up about fifty feet into the air. A true and horrific display of the end result. Millions and millions killed for the sake of essentially nothing and from then on it was almost as if I could see the remnants of the genocide throughout the local people. It was a certain look in their eyes that showed it still haunted the country.
This didn’t even compare to the schools that they had morphed into torture chambers. The walk through those was absolutely chilling. They still had the torture devices on display and the classrooms were all built into little prison cells. I was told that the prisoners were shackled by there ankles and if the chains made even one sound during the night, the guard would come in and beat them unconscious. The survival rate of these torture chambers was less than 1%.
I smoked another doob on the way home and realized how grateful I was to have grown up the way I did.
(If you want to read more info about The killing fields in Cambodia go down the rabbit hole of their wiki page here.)
If you want to hear another crazy story from Cambodia, check out the story about my first night in Siem Reap Here