angkor wat [places]

a foggy sense of trespassing accompanies investigation of the majesty and mystery of angkor wat's weathered beauty. the feeling i got standing on the sandblasted thresholds of so many long-abandoned miracles of human craft was something akin to equal parts A) being alone in a stranger's house, B) stepping into an exhibit at the museum of natural history, and C) being the first kid on the block to discover the rusted out oldsmobile in the creek down by the cemetery. after so many years of being told not to touch anything while being paraded around to appreciate history, art, and religion, it felt only natural to approach these ruins with a sense of apprehension. and despite being freely invited to poke our heads into so many nooks and crannies, it did feel somehow wrong that we should be traipsing in and out of these retired holies with such abandon. to that end, i found it both interesting and painfully frustrating to observe the ways in which people from different cultures approached and did or didn't revere the temples, but that's some cultural/anthro/socio blither to be had elsewhere. also on that tip, m put to words another feeling that had been puzzling me in those musty shadows: that despite all the visitors to angkor, it is rare that you don't feel mostly alone. with so many antechambers and interior rooms, there is always some marvel that you are allowed to find and appreciate - at least for a few seconds - without the shadow of some hawaiian-print-clad auteur looming.

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