29 July, 2008

Key of success

. 29 July, 2008

  • Winners make things to happen ; losers merely wait things to happen
  • Winners are achievers ; losers are sustainers
  • Winners never make any comparison with others but losers always do
  • Winners thinks and act ; losers act and think
  • Winners are self disciplined ; losers are self indulgent

  • Winners are far-sighted ; losers are short-sighted
  • Winners see problem as a challenge ; losers as a burden
  • Winners always say : "I can" ; losers say : "I can't"
  • Winners hardly complain ; losers always poin their finger at other failure
  • Winners solve problem ; losers are dissolved by problem.
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    28 July, 2008

    How To Be A Better Couple

    . 28 July, 2008

    10 steps to enjoying each other better...

    1. Be realistic about each other.Don't try to turn your partner into something he or she is not. Let's face it, guys-there's only one Pamela Anderson in the world, and even she has had her implants removed! Give your gal a break and understand that her physical appearance is NOT going to change overnight with the help of a few facials or treatments. And ladies, Brad Pitt has already been taken, so u're gonna have to do with what your guy is like! Chill out, love each other for what u are. There is more to your partner than what meets the eye.

    2. Always talk things out.Now guys, I know this is not your fave pastime or mode of resolving issues, but u know what? This works with the gals. Don't make assumptions about each other's feelings. Learn to xpress urself better so that your partner understands what u're angry about, or hurt about, or even happy about! When u stop talking to each other from the heart, it's the beginning of the end.

    3. Do stuff together.Make an effort to do things together. Do some sports or involve urselves in some shared activities; something both of u enjoy or are interested in. It could be as simple as watching movies together, or jus strolling hand-in-hand down PI Mall. Watch F-1 or soccer with him once in a while though the green patch on TV puts u to sleep in 3 seconds. And guys, do give in if your gal asks for another day at window-shopping, rather than suggest that she go out with her girlfriends for "that sort of activities" instead. If u're spending more time with your friends rather than with your partner, it's a warning sign that u're drifting apart!!!

    4. Meet each other halfway.If he agrees to throw out that rotten T-shirt with the "The_Rock" print, u shouldn't kick up much of a fuss if he asks u to keep your room tidy. There's gotta be a little giving and taking in a relationship, so learn to meet each other halfway.

    5.Show your loveBuy her flowers or candy or perfume every now and then, even if u have been together for 5 years. It's wonderful to continue showing someone that u care for him or her. Cook him a special meal, paint him a Valentine's Day card. Knit him mini-socks he can't wear ( like for decoration purposes), buy him a packet of milk for breakfast, or pack his wardrobe for him...so he knows u can still be romantic and loving despite having been together for quite a while.

    6. Respect each other.Stop making jokes about her hair or skin, or whatever it is u love to laugh at. Ask urself if she thinks if its funny. And if he has an inferiority complex about his height, stop ogling at tall guys and make him feel worse! Love is about respecting each other's feelings and being sensitive to each other at all times.

    7. Bury the past.Stop bringing up the past. Gals..don't bring up the happy things about u and your ex to your guy, it would jus make him jealous or unhappy. And guys, don't talk about the happy times that u had with your ex or mention about her in your every other sentence as it would make your gal feel un-happy and she might think that u saying all this b'cos u are gonna get back with your ex or not interested in her anymore.

    8. Sit on your jealousy.All of us go thru' spells of insecurity at the beginning of the relationship, but don't translate that insecurity into jealousy. If u're gonna go through your partner's mail and cupboard, and eavesdropping on conversations, u know something is wrong - with u!!! Jealousy is like a poison that slowly spreads thru' the relationship before finally killing it. Trust your partner; love has to have trust in it.

    9. Keep your commitments to each other.If your partner is standing u up all the time and cancelling dates and breaking promises, u need to talk! If u're in a relationship, make your partner your priority and don't disappoint them if u can help it. It's really terrible when someone promises to take u to dinner, and then calls to cancel it. Don't make promises u can't keep. If your partner starts to feel that he/she is not important enough to u, u may jus lose him/her.

    10. Be honest.Honesty is not scowling at how awful she looks first thing in the morning, or telling him that he has the biceps of a fly! When we say "be honest", we mean expressing your feelings clearly, not being bitingly cruel. When u're hurt, say so, and when u're angry, tell him/her, w/o getting hysterical. If u can't be honest with your partner, who can u be honest with? Love is also about honesty, and a relationship where no honesty exists probably isn't worth it!

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    Generating New Ideas


    Think Differently and Spark Creativity

    "We need to think differently!"
    "This needs some fresh ideas!"
    "We have got to be more creative around here!"

    Are messages like these popping up more often in your workplace?
    Faced with complex, open-ended, ever-changing challenges, organizations realize that constant, ongoing innovation is critical if they want to stay ahead of the competition. This is why we need to be on the lookout for new ideas that can drive innovation. It's why the ability to think differently, generate new ideas, and spark creativity within a team becomes an important skill. You need to work actively on building and cultivating this skill, and it can be done!
    Often, though, we make the mistake of assuming that good ideas just happen. Or worse still, we get caught in the mind trap of believing that creativity is an aptitude: some people have it, others don't. Then there is the other self-defeating belief - "I am not intelligent enough to come up with good ideas." These assumptions just aren't true: Anyone can come up with fresh, radical ideas - you just need to learn to open your mind and think differently. This article shows you how to do so.

    How to Generate New Ideas
    Standard idea-generation techniques concentrate on combining or adapting existing ideas. This can certainly generate results. But here, our focus is on equipping you with tools that help you leap onto a totally different plane. These approaches push your mind to forge new connections, think differently, and consider new perspectives.
    A word of caution - while these techniques are extremely effective, they will only succeed if they are backed by rich knowledge of the area you're working on. This means that if you don't have enough information about the issue, you are unlikely to come up with a great idea, even by using the techniques listed here. Incidentally, these techniques can be applied to spark creativity in group settings and brainstorming sessions as well.

    Breaking Thought Patterns
    Any of us can get stuck in established thinking patterns. To get unstuck, you need to break out of these, if you're going to have any chance of generating fresh, new ideas. There are several techniques you can use to do this:

    • Challenge assumptions: For every situation, you have a set of key assumptions. Challenging these assumptions gives you a whole new spin on possibilities.You want to buy a house but can't since you assume you don't have the money to make a down payment on the loan. Challenge the assumption. Sure, you don't have cash in the bank but couldn't you sell some of your other assets to raise the money? Could you dip into your retirement fund? Could you work overtime and build up the kitty in six months? Suddenly the picture starts looking brighter.
    • Reword the problem: Stating the problem differently often leads to different ideas. To reword the problem look at the issue from different angles. "Why do we need to solve the problem?", "What's the roadblock here?", "What will happen if we don't solve the problem?" These questions will give you new insights. You might come up with new ideas to solve your new problem. In the mid 1950s, shipping companies were losing money on freighters. They decided they needed to focus on building faster and more efficient ships. However, the problem persisted. Then one consultant defined the problem differently. He said the problem the industry should consider was "how can we reduce cost?" The new problem statement generated new ideas. All aspects of shipping, including storage of cargo and loading time, were considered. The outcome of this shift in focus resulted in the container ship and the roll-on/roll-off freighter.
    • Think in reverse: If you feel you cannot think of anything new, try turning things upside-down. Instead of focusing on how you could solve a problem/improve operations/enhance a product, consider how could you create the problem/worsen operations/downgrade the product. The reverse ideas will come flowing in. Consider these ideas – once you've reversed them again - as possible solutions for the original challenge.
    • Express yourself through different media: We have multiple intelligences but somehow, when faced with workplace challenges we just tend to use our verbal reasoning ability. How about expressing the challenge through different media? Clay, music, word association games, paint, there are several ways you can express the challenge. Don't bother about solving the challenge at this point. Just express it. Different expression might spark off different thought patterns. And these new thought patterns may yield new ideas.

    Connect the Unconnected
    Some of the best ideas seem to occur just by chance. You see something or you hear someone, often totally unconnected to the situation you are trying to resolve, and the penny drops in place. Newton and the apple, Archimedes in the bath tub: examples abound.
    Why does this happen? The random element provides a new stimulus and gets our brain cells ticking. You can capitalize on this knowledge by consciously trying to connect the unconnected.
    Actively seek stimuli from unexpected places and then see if you can use these stimuli to build a connection with your situation. Some techniques you could use are:

    • Use random input: Choose a word from the dictionary and look for novel connections between the word and your problem.
    • Mind map possible ideas: Put a key word or phrase in the middle of the page. Write whatever else comes in your mind on the same page. See if you can make any connections.
    • Pick up a picture. Consider how you can relate it to your situation.
    • Take an item. Ask yourself questions such as "How could this item help in addressing the challenge?", or "What attributes of this item could help us solve our challenge?"

    Shift Perspective
    Over the years we all build a certain type of perspective and this perspective yields a certain type of idea. If you want different ideas, you have to shift your perspective. To do so:

    • Get someone else's input: Ask different people what they would do if faced with your challenge. You could approach friends engaged in different kind of work, your spouse, a nine-year old child, customers, suppliers, senior citizens, someone from a different culture; in essence, anyone who might see things differently.
    • Play the "If I were" game: Ask yourself "If I were ………" how would I address this challenge? You could be anyone: a millionaire, Tiger Woods, anyone. The idea is the person you decide to be has certain identifiable traits. And you have to use these traits to address the challenge. For instance, if you decide to play the millionaire, you might want to bring traits such as flamboyance, big thinking and risk-taking when formulating an idea. If you are Tiger Woods you would focus on things such as perfection, persistence and execution detail.

    Employ Enablers
    Enablers are activities and actions that assist with, rather than directly provoke, idea generation. They create a positive atmosphere. Some of the enablers that can help you get your creative juices flowing are:

    • Belief in yourself: Believe that you are creative, believe that ideas will come to you; positive reinforcement helps you perform better.
    • Creative loafing time: Nap, go for a walk, listen to music, play with your child, take a break from formal idea-generating. Your mind needs the rest, and will often come up with connections precisely when it isn't trying to make them.
    • Change of environment: Sometimes changing the setting changes your thought process. Go to a nearby coffee shop instead of the conference room in your office, or hold your discussion while walking together round a local park.
    • Shutting out distractions: Keep your thinking space both literally and mentally clutter-free. Shut off the Blackberry, close the door, divert your phone calls and then think.
    • Fun and humor: These are essential ingredients, especially in team settings.

    Key Points:
    The ability to generate new ideas is an essential work skill today. You can acquire this skill by consciously practicing techniques that force your mind to forge new connections, break old thought patterns and consider new perspectives.
    Along with practicing these techniques, you need to adopt enabling strategies too. These enabling strategies help in creating a positive atmosphere that boosts creativity.

    Have a productive day always and enjoy the life...because life if too short to enjoy !

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    27 July, 2008

    Does jealousy signify one's love?

    . 27 July, 2008

    It tends to be widely believed that if jealousy never occur between husband and wife, the relationship is plain. In addition, if you are not jealous means that you don’t care enough, and to a certain degree some jealous is healthy. Jealousy can sometimes ensure a partner about his/her love and faith. Is this true? To some degree it might be, but it is not always true. Especially when one rarely or never experience jealous. Let us see what jealousy is and what trigger the reason for jealousy.

    Jealousy is a natural reaction that happens to all of us weather we admit to it or not. When you love someone and someone seems to threaten that relationship, jealousy may occur. Some may choose to hide it though. Hence to say it is a sign or rather a sign someone does not love you, is irrelevant because some do hide things better than others, and act out in other ways. I believe jealousy has to do with the amount of insecurity one posses. What triggers the reason is usually insecurity. Your response to jealousy has to do with how secure you are with yourself.

    Jealousy signifies love if that jealousy is something small and doesn't cause major problems in a relationship, but beyond this, if jealousy is applied in every aspect, then it doesn't signify love anymore. If a couple has jealousy in their marriage they had better find out why and remove it. Jealousy can also be about power and control. It is best to be avoided.
    One’s response to jealousy has nothing to do with how much that person care for the other. True love is unconditional and sacrificial. If both parties love each other, there should be no jealousy but trust and loyalty. I wouldn't determine my husband’s love for me by his jealousy. Love is measured by ones actions and not by the amount of jealousy that one displays. When one really loves his/her spouse, he/she will trust each other 100%. As a result, there will be no jealousy. Jealousy does not signify ones love, jealousy doesn't measure love. It signals immaturity and lack of trust.

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    16 July, 2008

    Prevention of Wearing Eye Glasses

    . 16 July, 2008

    Wearing eye glasses is sometimes disruptive and weary. Unlike sunglasses which are worn to protect eyes from sunlight, fun and fashionable to put on; wearing lenses as medicated glasses feels somewhat boring. This is what I have been going through since I started to wear reading glasses about 5 months ago. Unlike most of my friends who wear reading glasses at their early 40’s, I believe this delayed wearing glasses is the effect of yoga for eyes I’ve been practicing regularly since I wore cylindrical lenses 17 years ago when I was studying abroad. . At the first time I wore eye glasses, I felt uncomfortable that I tried to find a way to cure my eyesight in order to stop wearing glasses. I found a book “Teach Yourself Yoga” in the book store nearby campus, and fortunately, one chapter of the book was about yoga for eyes.

    There was a series of eye exercises for better vision. It took no more than 5 minutes at a time. I could always practice yoga for eyes anytime, anywhere I wanted to; behind my desk in the middle of my reading activities or on the bed before going to sleep. I practiced yoga for eyes at least once daily. In less than 2 months I started to feel uncomfortable with my glasses because every object was seen too sharp. Every time I took off my glasses I felt more comfortable. To ensure whether my eyes were getting either better or worse, I went to optometrist to have my eyes tested. The result was my eye vision went normal, and I did not need cylindrical lenses any longer. Ever since, for about 17 years later I never wear eye glasses. Although my job requires me to read and work with computer a lot, I have never had computer related eye problem. Now at this internet era, there are many videos as well as writings about yoga for eyes that can be downloaded for free. The one very similar to what I’ve been practicing can be read here.

    Remembering this fruitful experience, I am sure there is a way to be out of reading glasses too. Therefore, in addition to practicing yoga for eyes, I read articles about eye vision and ways for better vision. In his article, Dr. Martin Sussman’s from Cambridge Institute for Eye Vision reveals how vision relates to our mind, our emotion and our body. He states that there is a link between vision and emotion on a certain level. One’s mood can be seen from one’s eyesight which also reflects our mind, our attitudes and our perspective. Whether somebody’s being happy, or sad or angry, can be seen from eye vision. Regarding links between vision, emotion, mind and body, there are many ways to improve and to cure one's vision. Essentially, unresolved emotional issues, particularly those involving loss, fear and misunderstanding, coupled with acceptance, compassion and forgiveness, are also key elements of the transitional time. There are also Dr. Martin Sussman's 10 keys to Better Vision that can be accessed here, which I found some of them are matched with yoga for eyes. You can also test your vision online here.

    By applying these tips along with practicing yoga for eyes regularly, hopefully your eyes will feel more relaxed and your vision will become clearer. Hence, wearing eye glasses might be suspended , or even might not be necessary.

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    06 July, 2008

    The Royal Palace Chatomuk Mongkul

    . 06 July, 2008

    The Royal Palace at Phnom Penh was the last place I visited in Cambodia on April’s vacation. It was the 18th April 2008. We visited the Royal Palace which in local language is called Preah Borom Reach Veang. The name of the palace is Chatomuk Mongkul, because it is located adjacent to the intersection of four-faced rivers “Chatomuk” including the Upper Mékong, the Lower Mékong, the Tonlé Bassak and the Tonlé Sap. Entrance fee was 25,000 Riel (local currency) or US$6.5 per person. To enter the palace, visitors must wear proper outfits.

    Visitors in short pants, short skirts, tank top or the like are not allowed to enter the palace, and strictly no hat neither cap on head inside any of the pavilion within the palace complex

    This palace was erected firstly in the reign of King Ponhea Yat in the year 1434, and secondly it was erected in the reign of King Norodom in 1866. This palace is the principal residence of their Majesties the King and the Queen and the royal family; it is like a small town of royal dynasties. This palace compound is 435 meters long by 421 meters wide and a high wall. The Royal Palace includes magnificent temples built in the traditional style. The whole complex wall is decorated with what is called “Seima”-shapes. Most of the buildings include magnificent sculptures are characterized by many tiered roofs and topped by towers which are symbol of prosperity. The Royal Palace is regarded as symbol of the whole nation and all the pavilions are adorned and painted yellow and white. The yellow represents Buddhism and the white represents Brahmanism . The stairway is guarded with Naga figures having many heads, and all pillars are decorated with Kinnoris and Garudas supporting the ceilings.

    French pavillion

    The picture was taken from the balcony of the throne hall

    The Royal Palace consists of seven pavilions with different function. The Throne Hall is used for various purposes including the royal coronation ceremony ; audiences granted by His Majesty and the King on national and religious day, and the presentation of credentials by foreign envoys and formal receptions to distinguished guests both national and international. In the middle of the hall there is a throne symbolizing Phnom Penh as a hill in the center of continents where divinities live – fitting the hall. About half of the hall floors are made of pure silver. No wonder why visitors are banned to enter certain areas in the hall. Taking a photograph of scene inside any pavilion is strongly prohibited , otherwise our camera would be grasped by the hall guard.
    Ho Samran Phrum, is another pavilion which is used to keep the royal musical instruments and utensils for the use in the royal coronary procession. The first floor was the waiting room in which their Majesty could take a rest before mounting the elephant that had awaited them in front of this pavilion. Now this pavilion is used as His Majesty King Sihanouk’s museum.

    The throne hall

    Erna - in front of the throne temple

    Another pavilion which amazed me was the Emerald pagoda. A lot of artistic objects are exhibited there. Some of them are Emerald Buddha which is made of emerald. The Buddha sits on a gold throne and wears a gold sash set with diamonds across his both shoulders. The Standing Buddha which was called “Preah Chin Reangsei Reachika Norodom” in the reign of King Sisowath in 1904, is the statue including the pedestal and parasol made of 90kg of gold, and adorned with 2,086 diamonds, rubies and emeralds. There was also marble Buddha stands in a gesture of walking across a river. There were many more Buddha’s statues which were set with diamonds; some were made of gold and some were made of bronze. There were many more magnificent artistic objects on exhibition made of gold, silver, copper, copper alloy, marble, glass and ivory.

    Elly with Ben and Naya

    The pictures decorated a whole corridor walls of the complex

    Walking towards the exit door, we stopped by a room which walls were occupied by many pictures and photographs of Khmer’s traditional costumes , cultural ceremony and other historical pictures of Khmer. Adjacent to this was a museum where we could see the miniature of imagery of the royal coronation procession of his majesty Norodom Sihamoni, the new King of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Before leaving the Royal Palace we wrote briefly about our impression over the royal palace in the guest book. Last but not least, I found people of Cambodia and Vietnamese are very kind and friendly. I hope one day I will revisit Phnom Penh and HCMC.

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    05 July, 2008

    One day tour in Ho Chi Minh City

    . 05 July, 2008

    It was the morning of 15th April. Tour de Vietnam. We left the house at 8. The trip to Mekhong river bridge took about an hour. We had to cross the Mekong river by ferry.The gate to the ferry was still closed. The ferry hadn’t arrived yet. Fortunately we didn’t have to wait for too long because it came 20 minutes afterwards. On the deck of the ferry, a few women were selling either green grass jelly, fried crickets, or stewed lotus seeds. Fried crickets are placed on the wide plate made from bamboo skin.

    Stewed lotus seeds. It tasted like stewed peanuts
    About an hour and a half later, we reached the borders of Vietnam. We stopped at the nearest restaurant to have lunch first. While we were eating, the driver and staff of the travel agent helped fill in the forms needed to exit Cambodia and enter Vietnam. To enter Vietnam, nothing was charged on us, Vietnam and Indonesia are both members of ASEAN. On the other hand, though Cambodia is also member of ASEAN, we had to pay Visa on Arrival to enter it. This is because one of the main incomes of Cambodia comes from tourism.

    Since the first time we entered Vietnam until approaching Ho Chi Minh City which was known as Saigon, the streets environment were neat and clean. Unlike in Cambodia, where all letter written in Sanskrit inscriptions, in Vietnam all is written in Latin inscriptions with diacritic marks over some vowels .

    A monument in the city hall of HCMC
    There were a lot of parks in the city and the pedestrians were quite large. It reminded me of Singapore’s Orchard Road.

    We stayed at Thanh Long T@n Hotel. 19-21-23 Truong Dnh St. It was strategically located near the shopping center Bien Tanh, touristic spots and food market. After taking a rest for a while in the hotel, we went down to eat.We ate at Pong restaurant, where Bill Clinton had had his lunch a few years ago on his visit to HCMC. In the afternoon, we bought souvenirs at Bien Tanh. Here you can shop using USD. Local currency is called Dong. 1 USD = 16000 Dong.

    On the next day, 16 April 2008, everyone got on the city tour. It costed $10 per person. Our first destination was the War Remnant museum, where there is a historical collection from the Vietnam war. On a half way to the museum we stopped by to take picture at the city hall. The city hall was surrounded by St. Mary Catholic church, the oldest church in HCMC, the Central Post Office and the Jamiul Muslimin mosque. At the main office we saw the collection of telecommunication devices from the first world war era. Here we could buy souvenirs which is much cheaper than the price on souvenir shops we visited last night. This had caused everyone madly spent more time to choose and buy some more souvenirs until being screamed by the tour guide to get back on the bus.

    St. Mary Catedral

    The central post office

    Jamiul Muslimin mosque
    It took about 20 minutes from the city hall to reach the War Remnant Museum.

    Naya and Ben (my nephews)
    In the main room of the museum there are collection of pictures of war victims and disabled persons as an impact of dioxin war spreaded by Agent Orange on the Vietnam War. Besides pictures, there are also collection of rifles, revolvers, mortars and handguns used during Vietnam War.

    At the right side of the museum were prisons. They were dark rooms no more than 1 x 1.5 m2 with steel doors and a small divan made of cement.
    Marida (my youngest sister) in front of the prison
    One of the rooms that made me shiver was where the guillotine was kept. The guillotine was used to cut the heads of the prisoners. I’d always imagined the sharp side of the guillotine was horizontal. In fact, it was diagonal, 45 degrees. Under the place where the head to be cut is placed, was a container. My mood was mixed up with anger, fear and sadness imagining what the container was put for.
    The guillotine
    Most of the war victims who suffer from disability work in craft houses making crafts / unique souvenirs of Vietnam out of egg shell and sea shell.
    War victims (mostly disabled) are making carved crafts
    Some of the craft works
    Afterwards, we headed for the palace of the President of Vietnam. The building is quite old, but has a contemporary style. Entrance fee is USD6 per person. Children under 5 are free of charge.

    The President's palace
    One of the palace's guest rooms
    Last the tour guide took us to the basement. There were a lot of old communication devices there. Some of the rooms were divided by long and narrow corridors. It was said that they were used for hiding from enemies.

    Then we went to visit the oldest pagoda in the HCMC.

    The main entrance gate of the pagoda

    L-R : Erna, Naya, Marida, Elly
    The last place we visited was the central market. At the first level of the market most vendor sells Vietnamese traditional woven and imitation branded goods such as leather bags, belts and purses. I did not go to the second level to see what people was selling there but I guessed they were selling the same kind of goods.
    Erna and Pricilla in front of the main door of the central market

    The central market
    In the evening we went to Saigon Square, a shopping center in HCMC. It was only 2 km away from the hotel where we stayed. But because we weren’t aware of it, we took a taxi there and had to pay 25000 Dong.

    We went back to Phnom Penh on the 17th April 2008.

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    04 July, 2008

    A Visit to Choeung Ek Genocidal Center

    . 04 July, 2008

    The Choeung Ek Genocidal Center which is also known as The Killing Field historical museum was the place we visited in the 14 April 2008. It took about 6 hours drive from Siem Reap to get there.

    During in Siem Reap we stayed at Auberge Mont Royal d’Angkor at 497 Taphul, Siem Reap, Cambodia, adjacent to a famous Jasmine d’Angkor Restaurant. Here any kind of food is available, variously from local traditional food, Asian food and Western food. All we can eat for US$9 per person, children under 6 is free of charge. At 8 pm the dancers performed Cambodian traditional dance, which I thought is quite similar to Thailand traditional dance.

    In the morning, we left the hotel. Knowing Cambodia as one of the countries in South Asian where people eat rice, I’d expected rice to be served at the hotel for breakfast. To my surprise, the menu for breakfast was French bread. We had the choice of omelet, jam or honey to be served with it. There was no rice, no noodle, even cereal was nowhere to be seen. Another thing I’d come to notice was that in Cambodia, people drive on the right side, opposite of Indonesia where people drive on the left side of the road. Besides the local language, people here (especially the aged ones) speak French.

    After breakfast, we continued our journey. This time we headed for Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, where our cousin lived. The trip was quite long, it took 6 hours drive from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. There was nothing special along the way. It felt almost as if we were on a trip from Medan to Tebing Tinggi. In the middle of the way to Phnom Pen we stopped over to take a picture if front of monument Indonesian-Cambodian Friendship.

    Indonesian-Cambodian Friendship monument

    Since it was time for lunch and the trip was for another hour before reaching Phnom Penh, we decided to stop for lunch. This time we had lunch at Rumchong restaurant. There were various choices of seafood, steam boat, fried chicken, etc. We chose a seat in the backyard, overlooking the Mekhong river. The restaurant was crowded. Besides the main course, we ordered Cambodian pizza which is totally different from Italian pizza. Cambodian pizza is a piece of round thin crepe, filled with salad and minced meat.

    L-R : Priscilla, Laura & Katrin, Risma, Erna, Marida & Naya, Esther, Winda, k’Line, the driver, b’Gindo

    The moment we entered Phnom Penh, there weren’t many people, because it was still Khmer holiday. The atmosphere along the way to the apartment is not as different as that in Medan.
    Afterwards we went to The Killing Field historical museum, Choeung Ek Genocidal Center. More than twenty years ago I watched the “The Killing Field” movie at one of the cinemas in Bandung. And now I had the chance to see directly the effects of the Pol Pot regime violence.

    The place of the victims of Pol Pot’s violence’s skulls

    ( standing in front of the building is Laura - my niece)

    Unfortunately the building was a modern building, it did not support the tragic atmosphere. However to see that many skulls interacting my humanity. I hope such human tragedy will never happen again.

    Marida in front of the place where 450 people were executed.

    Pol Pot’s killing methods were believed to be more violent than Hitler’s. Pol Pot’s regime liked to do psychic torture to their victims before executing them by scaring them. At the rightside of the front yard, there is an open corridor where we could see many documented pictures of the former leaders of Cambodia killed by Pol Pot's regime. There are 7 other separate locations around the park which were used to execute groups of people in different ways.

    The photos during disinterment at Choeung Ek at the end of 1980

    From the Genocidal museum, we stopped by at the souvenir shops. I bought the book When Broken Glass Float and the DVD of The Killing Field so the kids too can watch this tragedy of humanity that happened in Cambodia.

    L-R : Tuk-tuk driver, Erna, Marida, Esther, Elly

    Heading for my cousin's place. Took a short rest. At first, we wanted to go to the saloon to massage our feet which have gone sore. But there were no saloon open that day, due to Khmer New Year’s day. So we went to Phsar Russie, the central market in Phnom Penh. Here we found the original features of Cambodian art (wood, sandstone, marble, silver and bronze statues), pottery, carved wood, silver work, Cambodian hand-woven silk etc. Finally we took a city tour by tuk-tuk, a cart pulled by motorcycle.

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    02 July, 2008

    Angkor Wat

    . 02 July, 2008

    Angkor Wat is one of the ten wonders of the world. This is the largest palace complex within the area of Angkor Archaeological Parks, surrounded by moats. It expressed climax of a great empire and it was only be able to be built because of vast resources of money and manpower. The monarch of that empire when it was built was Suryavarman II.

    The entrance gateway

    This is the last plcae I visited in Siem Reap on the 13 April 2008. The weather was cloudy, and when we arrived there, it rained. Thus, some of us decided not to continue the tour and stayed at the car, while the rest went to the main gate to take shelter from the rain.

    The scene at the righthand side of the frontyard

    People praying at one of the palace entrance.

    After waiting for a moment, the rain stopped, and we carry on get into the palace area. As we started from the main gate, we still have to walk some hundreds meters in order to reach the main building. The mildewed walls describe that these temples were built hundred years ago. I was so amazed to see how great this building. The monuments are tremendous. I can’t imaginehow the people of centuries ago with their technology was able to built such a strong building, and how those craftsmen and builders transported and lifted up such big stones while climbing up the hill.

    Wide causeways

    We could enter the complex through either the west or the east entrance to get to the entry tower. After walking through the widecauseways, we climbed the steps to reach the second level.

    The towering temples

    To get the third level where the central courtyard within we need to climb the steps oriented towards either of the four central points. We could not reach the highest monument or so-called gopura, the main building where Suryavarman II used to stay and governed the nation from, because the steps were being restored and were closed to public. Even if we are allowed to climb the steps, it seems we were not brave enough to climb up this last steps as a climax. The stone steps are tarnished by the age, sharply sloping and the foot path is so blunt and narrow. Moreover, the rain makes them slippery.

    The stairs to reach one of the 5 towering temples

    Relief describing the battle of Kurusetra

    To get out of the complex we passed through the west exit way . The walls along the corridor are crafted with the relief represent a concluding episode of Mahabharata, a renowned Indian epic tale.

    Miniatur of Angkor Wat at the Royal Palace - Phnom Penh

    The whole complex of Angkor Wat is very large but lack of direction signs and explanation at each crossways as well as at each crosscorridors. It takes a full day if we want to visit each part of the complex. When we were there, unfortunately some of the passageways were closed to public due to restoration works. We had just visited about half of the complex area, limited by that restoration works being hold and of course by rain. However, the main part we have visited was sufficient to represent the whole complex.

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