Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fish for the Buddha: Siem Reap Market

Fish freshly killed by the Cambodian fish wives of the Siem Reap market

It seems to me that Cambodia, if Siem Reap is anything to go by, is still suffering the immense psychological effects  of Pol Pot's mad years of destruction and insanity. Most people are desperately poor, there are no intrinsic industries apart from the newly mushrooming tourist industry, and that is everywhere rampant and overwhelming. What about the psychological effects of all that murder and loss on the Cambodian people? People are so poor they are selling their own children to sexual predators that pour into Cambodia by the truckload preying on young children, mainly girls, and destroying lives. This is a poverty so complete, such an anihilation of self-worth that makes it possible to consider giving up your children to these monsters.

The government is corrupt and not much of the huge amounts of money made annually now from tourism gets to help better the lot of the average person, that's why I felt so outrageous to pay $60 for a three day pass to the temples, knowing how little good it will do the  people who really need it and how many greasy pockets it will line of the powers that be.  Leaving Cambodia I'm feeling a bit sad not to have gotten away from the tourist traps and out into the country where the real people are. But also, frankly, a little relieved to beleaving, getting away from all those wandering ghosts.

Woman picking her teeth in the Siem Reap market

Chicken lady, Siem Reap market
There is a basic dourness about the Cambodian people, although it may just be not liking having their photos taken
Fish and Fruit
A selection of fresh fruit and vegetables at the Siem Reap market
So you get the markets, as photographed here, the many young girls bored out of their minds with no prospects other than the brothels of Bangkok and Phnom Penh and this place at a market stall.
The utter boredom of what they do is most obvious amongst the young girls

Pigs heads and offal for sale
Very happy to be dead, thanks very much!
Definite resistance to photography in the market
Anyone for tarot?

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