Saturday, February 26, 2022

63 Things About #3

From original post: I will be turning 63 late next month. Sixty three! It is not an auspicious number. No big round number, no massive event. Just a birthday - hopefully the first in 3 years that isn't Covid screwed.

But, here's the thing, I am feeling pretty good right now (mentally). And I am looking forward to the next phase of my life. Having said that, it is time to look back fondly on what gifts I have been given. And, by gifts, I usually mean the pleasure of experiences with friends and loved ones.

Angkor Wat

Going to Angkor Wat was a spur of the moment decision. I was in Singapore for work and I had a weekend off before more meetings. Rather than stay in Singapore (which I had been to a lot) I decided to grab a cheap flight to Siam Rep to see the temples of Cambodia.

I had never been to Cambodia and this was long before Siam Rep became the tourist spot it is now. There were no giant hotels, Cambodia was still mainly undiscovered. In fact, Ed and I have been back and they found even more temples in the jungle.

The temples blew me away. I grew up thinking that the history of civilization before the renaissance was primarily an European idea. I knew China had been around, and was even more sophisticated in many aspects than Europe, but China was introspective and alone in Asia as a full on civilization.

So Angkor Wat was an unexpected experience. The tourist vendors were there but light. The tourists were there, but few and scattered. Waking through this nearly empty complex was somehow humbling. And the monks, dedicated to education and peace, moved me.

Since then, I've seen a lot, but that first impression was something I was honored to experience. 

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