“Kill all the poor people”

“Kill all the poor people”

Don’t worry about my title, I haven’t become a serial killer.
I landed in Cambodia safely after three exhausting days of flying… okay, I exaggerate a little, since it was only 24 hours if you count the time differences, but it was still exhausting.

My first observation on the way into town from the airport was how the area was in contrast with itself. We passed shack after shack, and in the middle they’d plop a giant 4 star hotel. It was very strange. My own hotel is a small guest house and hardly 4 star, but very nice for $15/night. Anyway, after a morning to rest I set out with my guide to explore Siem Reap, which was once the capital of Cambodia. We started with the floating villages of the Tonle Sap lake. They’re called floating villages for a reason– the houses are built on stilts, but with the rainy season the size of the lake doubles, so the people saw off the stilts and the house just floats. All their possessions (including pigs!) float with them and they spend the next months traveling, shopping, and living really, by boat. It was really interesting to see.

Anyway, about my title.  My guide is Cambodian, and I’ll go more into his family story later, which is very sad and has to do with Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.  But on the way back from Tonle Sap he was talking about the poverty of the area.  He sounded very compassionate until he all of a sudden said “We just need to kill all the poor people.”!!!  He went on to explain, fortunately, that we need to “kill” them through education, so I think he must have meant ëliminate all the poor people, rather than killing them.  But it was a strange moment.

In any case, the internet here ends at 7am and it’s 6:59, so more later.