Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Random thoughts from SE Asia

I have not been able to post to the blog yet, but I have been keeping a journal so I have lots of thoughts saved that I can post later. I wanted to note a few things about Thailand first. I was fortunate enough to do some traveling before the class met in Bangkok, visiting a rural area which I think gave me a very different view of the country. I was immediately struck by how much the Thais eat on the street. They have all sorts of carts out on the main road with makeshift restaurants and all types of food. One common food that shocked me was the meat on a stick. They have all sorts of hot-dog type meats, ranging from the American style ones to bright pink hot dogs! They also put chicken and other meats on sticks, sort of like a kabob. In the morning, we ate these pancake type treats, filled with coconut milk, which were delicious! I wish I knew what they were called in Thai though! I have much more to talk about Thailand about but for lack of time, I wanted to mention some things about Cambodia. The people here are also amazing. They have been through so much and deal with many hardships, but still have a glow and smiles on their faces. I was struck by how much fear they are still living in. Talking to a few Cambodians, I realized that they are afraid to say certain things, for fear that the Khmer Rouge will come back into power. They also have told us that many of the young people do not believe that a genocide happened, or do not believe that it was truly as horrible as it was. The Khmer Rouge period is skipped over in their history books. I am very interested in how people are dealing today with their past and how the society can move forward.
On a lighter note, I also talked with some monks that surprised me. I saw they they carried cell phones, had email accounts, and spoke very openly about their lives and thoughts.
Unfortunately, I am out of time at this point, I will continue my blog later. I need to figure out how to make my name on the posts, but for now this is Christine R blogging.

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