Mouhot to have come across Angkor Wat in the midst of the rainforest. It eerily spoke of an ancient golden age, but also of nature's ability to perpetually create unparalleled beauty; sunsets, mountain vistas, or trees intertwined in temples. Visiting a place like Angkor highlights the fact we view our surroundings in snapshots. We can take Angkor at its present state, or we can delve into the history of the Khmer for greater understanding. However, we can forget to do similar analyses with the places we've made familiar; i.e. knowing New York now compared with where it was in the 70s and 80s, or before September 11th, or during the time of the Lenape when bears lived in Manhattan."
And from Friday, 17 September 2010:
"Leaving Siam Reap is bittersweet. The people have been incredible, the scenery has been breath-taking, and the prices hard to beat, but I'm excited to return to Jakarta because for as much as I've learned about these cultures over the past few weeks, I want to learn that much more about where I'm living and have similar conversations that I've had throughout my trip. One thing that has struck me has been Cambodians impression of the French. During my conversations with the high schoolers and other locals, they will always ask me if I've been to France, when I intend on going, and what I want to see when I'm there. I suppose the actions of the American during the Vietnam War and dealing with the horror of Pol Pot would help restore these relationships sooner, but it was something I wasn't expecting."