When the Khmer Rouge was in Power

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Mark: So Pahl what part of Cambodia do you come from?
Pahl: I come from Kompong Cham Province.
Mark: Kompong Cham. And you were born there?
Pahl: Yes, I was born there?
Mark: How far is it from Phnom Penh?
Pahl: It is about two hours.
Mark: Two hours by bus, by car?
Pahl: By taxi.
Mark: Mm-hm.
Pahl: Yes.
Mark: Is it on the coast or inland?
Pahl: No, not on the coast or inland. It is inland but along the Mekhong River.
Mark: Ok . Its on the river. Ok.
Pahl: On the way to Laos.
Mark: Right ok. And you come from a village or a big town?
Pahl: Yes. yes, I come from a village.
Mark: Uh-huh. How many (are there) people in the village?
Pahl: Now, I am not sure of the population in my village because I have been away and I do not know how many people now.
Mark: But like a few hundred, a few thousand?
Pahl: Must be like one thousand people.
Mark: That is quite big. And everybody is rice farmers or…?
Pahl: Most people they do like small business and some people they do, yes, rice.
Mark: And when did you leave,..like.. how old were you when you left?
Pahl: When I left there?
Mark: Yeah.
Pahl: In 2000..I moved to Phnom Penh and I went to high school.
Mark: Right. Did you come down by yourself or with family?
Pahl: I came to Phnom Penh and lived in my sister’s house.
Mark: Uh-huh. So you finished your high school and then you got a job?
Pahl: Yes. No. After I finished high school I could not find a job because in Cambodia (there is) unemployment, you know?
Mark: Is really high.
Pahl: Yeah it is so hard to get a job so I just do small jobs and just get a little bit of money.
Mark: Casual jobs here and there like little things. Right. Ok. That is tough. A lot of people (are) in that situation.
Pahl: Yeah sure because we just woke up from genocide.
Mark: Yeah yeah. The war. How old were you when the Khmer Rouge were in power?
Pahl: I was not born
Mark: You were not born.
Pahl: But my parents lived through that situation.
Mark: What did you learn about the war?
Pahl: About the war I learned from school. But most documents are not open.
Mark: Uh-huh.
Pahl: They do not talk too much about the genocide.
Mark: Have you been to the prison? Tuol Sleng.
Pahl: Yes. I have been many times there.
Mark: It is horrible.
Pahl: Yeah. It is a horrible place to see there. You can se a lot of equipment they used to torture people..
Mark: Yeah
Pahl: And different years, different torture.
Mark: Mm.
Pahl: Yes. Come there. You will see. They had photos also. And they are arranged year by year.
Mark: Ten years ago I lived here. I was working here as an English teacher. And I visited a friend’s house. He was living in an apartment. The war was over but in that apartment many people were killed. And in the bathroom there was a bloodstain on the marble.
Pahl: Yeah. I see.
Mark: It is a very strange feeling.
Pahl: And even now there is still a stain on the floor?
Mark: Mm. Yeah.
Pahl: They did not want to clean it and make it new?
Mark: Even? It was like a stain. I guess they cleaned it but they couldn’t change the color.
Pahl: I see.
Mark: Mm.
Pahl: It sounds like a spirit.
Mark: Yeah it sounds like a ghost. Yeah. Do you see ghosts? Feel ghosts?
Pahl: Ghosts?
Mark: Yeah. Ghosts. Spirits.
Pahl: No, I never saw one but I just heard about people..they talk about this.
Mark: M-hm. In Thailand everybody talks about “Phi” they say “Phi”
Pahl: “Phi” in Thai language. “Phi”?
Mark: Say again.
Pahl: “Phi” is Thai language?
Mark: Yeah.Yeah.
Pahl: Some people if they don’t see something with their own eyes, they do not believe it.
Mark: Yeah.
Pahl: But for me I heard many times that people saw ghosts or spirits. Like that. But I cannot believe.
Mark: Until you see with your own eyes?
Pahl: Yeah.
Mark: Some people are very visual. Like they..
Pahl: Yeah. They see. yeah.
Mark: Other people like..sometimes you don’t see… but you feel.
Pahl: It can depend on the atmosphere around you. Something around you.
Mark: Yeah.
Pahl: Sometimes you don’t feel that but to see a movie that shows something horrible.
Mark: It has an effect on you.
Pahl: Yeah.
Mark: Yeah.

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4 Responses to “When the Khmer Rouge was in Power”

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  1. P Mario says:

    Very interesting conversation. I think that in that region they (the people from there) believe in spirits.
    I agree in spirits too. But to see them, you must to be a mediun that the Spiritualists call “vidents”.
    Those people who believe in God knows we are spirits created by God. Our material body we achieve it through our parentes. The genetic body we inherit from our parents.

  2. Mya Yi Win hlaing says:

    I’m very interesting to listen but i can’t try it to download. Just read only.

  3. Neetu says:

    Very nice n clear conversation

  4. Shireen Sultan says:

    Nice conversation about feeling . I like it. Very clear conversation.

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