Choeung Ek Killing Fields Genocide Memorial; Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The weirdest thing about this place is that in the midst of somewhere with such a tragic and violent past, everything is just so discordantly pleasant. Its shady, birds are chirping, and there’s somebody with a weed-eater somewhere nearby. This could be any park, anywhere, if it weren’t for the mass grave of 166 headless bodies down that path. Or the pit of 450 bodies down that one. Or that I’m sitting near a Goliath-sized stupa full of skulls, bones, and the rags of clothing of the murdered.
You come prepared to be a little shocked, very somber, and disgusted by the capacity for evil that we all harbour. Nobody mentions the shock of how terribly pleasant surroundings such a place can be.