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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

War Museum Siem Reap

Made another little observation today that it seems all the Cambodian men wear shirts and jeans, Its really hard in vest and shorts. It is stifling, probably hotter than all of Thailand. One thing I’m not missing from Thailand is the Suit shops, they seem to have been replaced with gobby little kids who answer back with attitude and start to eff and jeff at you, when you don’t buy their books from them. Not the best sales pitch and wouldn’t last long on The Apprentice!! These kids are not the homeless kids that eat scraps off plates, these are well dressed kids who need a slap, and to know when the answer is no and not wait at your side whilst you eat.
We decided to go to the “War Museum” in Siem Reap on the advidce of the 2 Sams. So we jumped in a tuc tuc and as soon as we arrived at the entrance a Cambodian man introduced himself (name forgotten) so I shook his hand and the small chit chat started. He asked me if I lived near the big clock, even though Big Ben is the bell and not the clock I didn’t correct him, as sometimes its just easier to let things be. This is another lesson you learn after having so many blank looks on foreign faces when you talk. I couldn’t resist telling him that the biggest clock face in Britain is in actual fact ………………. Liverpool on the liver building. This was met with one of those blank looks I was just mentioning. I felt like I was waving a Dime Bar in front of his face, just like in the old TV adverts. Then just as the small talk was getting friendly BANG!! “Do you want a tour guide to take you round the museum?” Just as I was thinking how to say no, he hit me again BANG!! “I only have one legged the other is wooden” KNOCK KNOCK as he tapped the wooden leg, “I only have one eye as well, these injuries all from the war” as much as I wanted to say no I couldn’t. I bottled it and agreed, “How much?” I asked, $10 he said. Once again we got stung.
So off we set and I have to admit I don’t know what I was expecting but the “War Museum” looked like Scrap Heap Challenge. Blown up tank after blown up tank, Land to Air guns after machine gun, Even a human bone on the side of a tank. It only took a couple more minutes and the tour guide told us his wife died 3 weeks ago. Now this is terrible but I started to wonder if he was just trying to lay it on thick in the hope of more money from us. South East Asia especially Cambodia has this effect, you don’t trust anybody in what they say. As we walked past each tank the tour guide was telling us how his friend died in this tank, that tank, the gun turret. Then he showed us the grenades. Miss Alex ran when he picked one up and acted as though he was gonna through it in our direction. In all honesty, I did squint my face. The tour guide didn’t talk much and miss Alex was still non the wiser on who was fighting who, who was backing who and why there was a civil war in Cambodia. This tour guide was rubbish. We managed to workout from the bits (very small) of information there had been a civil war that finished in 1999.  7 million mines are still undetected in Cambodia and it was the Vienamese who Chased Pol Pot (barn pot more like) into hiding in the mountainous regions.
We must have been 15 minutes into our tour when the guide said that due to his legs being tired this was the end of the tour and we were free to go around the Scrap yard ………. Sorry “War Museum” and take pictures. Not a chance the Japanese tourists were all over the tanks like ants. 10 mintutes after we started walking around, our tour guide was taking another tour around, so much for his tired legs.

Speak soon xxx

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