We woke up early and went to temple to give the monks our offering for New Year. Now that we have their blessing, we can go out and play.
Back at my uncle's house all the kids prep for our trip to the mountains. Food and beverages were preped and ready to go. Water bags were also preped and ready to go.
During the New Year, people celebrate by throwing water bags (like water balloons) at each other. Baby powder also becomes ammunition, mostly spread across the victims faces and head.
My uncle's truck carried majority of the neighborhood kids, our cousins, and Saran and myself. Some sat on the side, a few in the center with our water bags and powder, the rest stood next in the back with the back open to allow more room for people to stand. Crazy? Yes it is. But no one fell off or even flinch each time the truck took off.
Sruh said "during New Year, we don't wait til we reach the destination to play, we play on the road," as we took off and headed towards the mountains.
Saran and I sat on the leftside of the truck and had a water bag in each hand, watching and waiting for the action. It wasn't until we left the city to get some action and boy did we. Everyone was prepared. People knew everyone was heading to the mountains, so every resident on the way there stood waiting along side of the raods fully loaded. Many exchange their cars for trucks like our uncle's for easier participation. Even some motos we equip with the water bags.
We were just getting into the countryside and right away our cousin spotted our first victims standing on the road. We knew they were equipped so at the same time we took aim and cover. I took cover and then threw and popped my uncle who sat across from me right in the chest. Everybody almost fell over laughing at the situation. My uncle later switched with his son and drove the truck instead.
Crossfires continued with trucks vs people on the road, other trucks, car with moon roofs and motos. Saran and I took a lot of hits since we sat on the side of the truck closest to oncoming traffic. We also popped a few people. I took cover when I saw kids that were aiming for pain. They throw with all their might, whoever took the hit is in for pain.
The sport is pretty dangerous, acrually, very dangerous. There's no rules or regulation. Both Saran and I got hit in the face. Some one pitched a water bag at, what felt like, 100 miles per hour and it just swiped my cheek and ear. I had to touch my ear to make sure it was still there. The side of my face felt like it got rug burn, still stings this very moment.
Saran got a pretty good hit in the face. I can't imagine what would happen to her left eye if her sunglasses wasn't there to protect it. All I heard was a loud pop behind me where Saran was. Once I looked over I saw right below her sunglasses her cheek was pretty pink. I figured that was where she took the hit. Once we got to our destination, she had her sunglasses off and I saw that it was no longer pink, but a purple oval on her cheek and another purplish circle on her nose where her sunglasses sat. I'm pretty sure without her sunglasses that could have been a black eye. Definitely fun, but also very dangerous.
Once we got to the place. It was packed! Everyone from Battambang was there. It was a huge park with a large lake, hundred of food vendors and thousands of people. We rented a hut right on the shoreline looking over the lake. Our army uncle had been there first thing in the morning to hold the spot. It was amazing to see all these people just having a ball.
The lake though has story behind it. You can say it was manmade just not on purpose. This was actually one of the lacations the Khmer Rouge had a hold of. My dad was one of many who slaved in the area. They manually dugout the land over long hours and very few breaks. The ground that was dug up was used to layout roads. Evidence of my father's hard work during the Khmer Rouge lay in front of us.