Woke up at six. Tossed and turned and pillow over my face and tried oh so hard to fall back asleep, because I’m in Phnom Penh, staying in my friend’s beautiful apartment, sleeping in a comfortable bed, and responsibility-free until 2PM. My body didn’t seem to care though.
Finally gave in, pulled on grungy shorts and a t-shirt, a handful of bills and my camera, and headed off in search of coffee. It turned out to be one of my best mornings in memory here. As I sat on the riverfront and snapped some pictures, some kids came asking to look. When the old people walking by heard a foreigner speaking Khmer, they sat down and started chatting.
One lady in particular seemed so happy to talk. She took my hand and started walking with me. No particular destination, just walking, telling me her story. Refugee camps, runaway husbands, a son with a disability, brilliant grandchildren who are already learning English and don’t you know they’re going to be rich someday, the tiny house that she owns all by herself. She stopped every few sentences to catch her breath, wipe away her tears, and ask questions about why I’m not married yet.