With a new day and a new plan, eight of us rode out the east end of busy Siem Reap only to get separated into what eventually became two groups. I coalesced with Ken, Vermont Dan, Gary and Alex who had varying plans for the day and varied speeds with which to get it all done.
We wanted to see Pol Pots cremation site and the Temple in the mountains, Preah Vihear, near the Thai border north of Sra Em.
I was on my own for a while and used the time to add to the adventure; I ran that Dream dry for the second time. Fortunately, both times I was able to push the scooter to a road side liter seller.
We found Pol Pot's site, which apparently, according to Dan, is just over the border in Thailand, which concerned me because I didn't have my original passport and visa with me if there were questions going back.
The site itself was nothing but a dirt road with a rope across it and a simple shelter like a toll booth which had a very unofficial looking toll taker who appeared a minute after we arrived. There was no verbal communication at all, only a book of tickets with $2 on it. From what we could tell, he want $2 each bike, but from what I saw I refused to go beyond and said I would wait for the others. He eventually let all of us in for Gary's $2.
My expectations of an interesting photo op was low as we approached a dusty* roped in rectanglular shaped weedy area with a corrigated steel hood over part of it. Not much of a memorial for anyone. Maybe too much for a tyrant.
A rusty sign marked it's historical significance. Our "toll taker" strolled up the road as we meandered around the site discussing Georges intentions to pee on this memorial. As toll guy arived we were taking about fulfilling this goal but no one wanted to with him there. A tyrant who abuses power is one thing, killing millions of innocents is quite another. My contempt needed to be demonstrated.
"Don't do it" Danny gets an idea. I indicate to him that I need to go number one very badly and ask if there is a place. He shrugs as I move closer to the site holding myself. He made no move to stop me; he even smiled. You can quess the rest. Photos on request.
Later, as we were getting a room in Sra Em, I noticed new oil under my left fork. Again, mechanics and gas are all over and I found a good one after the third place I stopped.
While new seals were getting installed by what looked like a 12 year old, I was discussing many things with the boss. I turn away from the work for a moment to talk and turn back ...the plastic was off. Again, we talk some more in broken english and then suddenly a fork was off.
I showed him the pics of the cremation site and he said the Khmer text on the sign indicated they are trying to restore it. I wondered why since he was responsible for millions of inocent people being murdered.
I asked if he thought Pol Pot was good or bad by use of thumbs up or down. He thumbed up for SOB. I checked three times with repeated throat cutting gestures.* He along with a few other in the shop area simple laughed and thumbed up for the cruel tyrant. I was certain there was some miscommunication but relieved that I didnt reveal the number one story. :)
New fork seals 30 minutes... $5. Now, back to the beer drinkers at the hotel for some grub.
Droid S 3 & TT2