The Legend that is Angkor…

The Legend that is Angkor (Siam Reap) … and yes also Phnom Penh

(1) Cambodia countryside with that particular Khmer roof style.

(2) Tuol Sleng… thousand faces of suffering – no exceptions, men, women, children and even new-born babies. Quoting a British friend, “if everybody was made to go to a place like that to see what happened (during wars and genocides) at least once in their life the world would be a better place.”

(3)Feeling royal… in Phnom Penh

(4) Throne Hall on the grounds of The Royal Palace.

(5) Motos and beautiful Khmer girls…

(6) Angkor Wat without the sunrise.

Then our group moved to Siam Reap by bus lulled by some Cambodian music videos (for 6 hours!). We stayed in a Western run inn called Rosy’s Guesthouse. It was nice for 10USD a night (highly recommended).

We spent one a half day at the temples. Short by most standards, but we did a good job generally. We were able to see most of the well-known temples such as of course the Angkor Wat, Phnom Bakheng, Angkor Thom (where you find the Leper King and the Elephant Terraces, Prasats, the Baphuon and the Bayon). We also went to Neak Pean, Preah Khan, Pre Rup, Bantay Srei and the Ta Prohm temples. Whew! So many temples and the names can be really confusing. It was good that I brought my flatmate’s Ancient Angkor Guidebook. One would be amazed at the details of the reliefs and the number of temples that the Khmer civilization was able to build – hundreds of them!

Our trip was made special by our encounters with the beautiful children of Cambodia, the tasteful Khmer food, the Tuk-Tuk rides, the stairs and slopes we had to climb to be on top of the temples and see the universe of jungle and temples all over Siam Reap. As I said on my album description of the Siam Reap trip, when you are there in front of the Angkor Gates with the Buddha faces, you can’t help but feel surreal. Like you are overwhelmed to be there, but you can’t believe you are there at the same time!

(7) Bantay Srei

(8) Gate to Angkor Thom

(9) Ta Prohm

(10) Preah Khan

A Declaration of Self-Esteem

In all the world there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine.

Because I alone chose it, I own everything about me. My body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or to myself.

I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me – by so doing I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts.

I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me and other aspects that I do not know, but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and for ways to find out more about me.

However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me.

If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting and keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded.

I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and therefore I can engineer me. I am me and I have choice.