May 24, 2013
Dinner was at the Schnitzel Wirten and what a place that was. Huge quantities of pork, cheap beer and a gregarious owner who dropped f bombs with wild abandon. After Pakistan, it was delightful to tank up on pork, profanity and beer.
Today we went to Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat. The Angkor’s were a backdrop to us. Truly though, both are of scope and scale beyond common comprehension. Carvings went on for kilometers. Vaulted arch walkways held together in spite of centuries of weather and human abuse. These are the creations of history.
It astonished me to find I’d written so little about Angkor Wat itself. Angkor Wat was a bucket list destination and yet, at the time, my heart had overcome my head, a precious rarity. Angkor was a grand destination and set piece for a chapter in a Cinderella story that did not end with, “and they lived happily ever after.”
Thinking back, the Angkors, like other astonishing human accomplishments, escape description. These sites are experiences, sights, sounds, smells—the ancient, petrified bones of history. We can absorb these bones and be awed by our ancestors without the human cost ever touching us. We can gape without the blood, sweat and smell of labor insinuating themselves into our awe.