Photos: Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium

I realize I haven’t been as active on this blog as I had when I first moved to Cambodia, and I blame that on being really, really busy. Not only has the internship been significantly time-consuming, but extra special activities related to Open Acess, poetry, and travel have kept me on my toes every day. I also have been dealing with more and more homework, and various forms of sickness. I’m glad it’s been rocky, as consistency in my life leads to boredom in my life, as it does for many others. But that being said, I owe a gallery of some pictures from a recent visit to the Olympic Stadium here in Phnom Penh. I should make a note that while the pictures here make the stadium look completely abandoned and absurdly creepy, me and my friend Phil (in the pictures) visited during the “off-hour.” Essentially the cooler parts of the day (the early morning and the late afternoon/early evening) paint a different picture: swarms of Cambodians visit the park to do aerobic exercises, use the facilities, and play soccer (I mean “football”).

Still, I’m glad we visited when we did, as it allowed for some pretty amazing structural shots. It’s clear that the building, despite the many who use it, and despite its history (it was one of the killing centers for the Khmer Rouge), is slowly crumbling, disinvested. Next door (you’ll see in another post) there is the fancy-though-somewhat-decayed City Mall. And some major foreign investor is pouring their riches into a huge resort structure just to the north. The Olympic Stadium will most likely be torn down and replaced . . . by another stadium? Who knows. Chances are: no. Having traveled throughout the city, it’s clear that public facilities are most certainly not a priority by the government and urban developers. That may change. But without a large economy, and no coffers in the bank available to be spent on renovation projects or public spaces, I foresee the stadium’s death spot being filled in with concrete, a shiny apartment building or hotel or office complex thrown above.

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