The Visitors

Went into town for an evening out the other night. Got separated from S. for a while as we both rode different moto taxis. Ultimately we reconnected at a tall monument and traffic circle then ate some decent pizza. Nice olive oil taste in the crust, like a Russian Orthodox communion biscuit. People in Cambodia and Thailand have taken to eating their pizza with ketchup. I will not do this.

Bought some instant coffee because I like coffee. It is a Chinese brand because all of the other imports were too expensive. This instant coffee is like drinking watery devil diarrhea. In a bad way.

Yesterday, I took a nap in S.’s room. For the first time ever, my dreams have been both inspired by and limited to the room I was sleeping in. One dream involved me being on a wooden galleon that had a captain’s quarters furnished identically to the real room. Another dream involved me snuggling with B. at the foot of the bed, us getting more and more stuck in the crevice between the foot of the bed and a shelf. The final phase of dreaming didn’t include me being a 200 ft. tall white-winged robot (called Dragocon Blanca X1000) that shoots laser beams out of a multipurpose gun arm. Get this: First, my arm would glow red and make a “Bloooooooooooooop!” power-up sound. Then a beam would shoot out with a “Bwaaaaazam!” It would strike buildings and people, destroying and slicing its way to reverence in the terrorized populace. It would have been a cool dream…

When I woke up, there were three non-Americans on the premises. One ruddy boy, and two girls. One was from Australia, another from England, and the third from Canada. They had met each other in China and had traveled together ever since. I don’t know how they found out about this place, but they came, brought loads of candy and a soccer ball. It was fun to be around whities again for a while, if not mainly for a change in atmosphere.

Hopped up on sugar, the kids could be coaxed to dance a little. And some of the little ones would run fast and punch through the concrete walls. There was some insane rollerblading going on too. Kids wearing blades about 5 sizes bigger than their feet. Some kids skated like they either had rickets or were recovering from ankle surgery.

I have a nice family of mosquitoes that live in the dress shirts I have piled in the corner of my room. I am like an underappreciated father to them: all I do is give, and all they do is take. I give them my nice musky shirts, and all I asked in return is for them to not suck my blood every damn second I am around. Using the bathroom? Sure guys, come suck the blood out of my leg. Reading a book? Why not land on my back and suck up some of my precious life force. Eating some rice? Bite me thrice. Sitting outside? Why not eat me alive!

I like walking around town alone. Everyone looks at me like an opportunity. Opportunity knocks them down. This is one of the few places where having large bills is an inconvenience. Any US bill over $5 is of questionable use outside of the larger supermarkets. Some people monthly salary is about $35US, so a $20US bill is an even more excessive amount to cash. But there are plenty of places to do it. Some of the jewelry stalls in the markets have their own exchange tables and they offer the same rates at the banks.

Today I will work on the orphanage web site some more, although it is hard to find enough privacy to get into the right frame of mind to work.

June 22nd, 2005. Categories / Cambodia

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