I’ve been studying Khmer – the ninth language I’ve studied in a classroom. These days both English and Chinese grammar feel natural to me – neither is awkward. But Khmer falls so in between that I get confused. The feeling that I’m mixing two individually comfortable but different grammars gets me all turned around!
Soon the Cambodian Stars became one of the last things packed and first things put up whenever I moved. And when I myself moved to Cambodia the Cambodian Stars came home. I hung them in my bedroom – a promise, a reminder.
The tuktuk plowed through deep water on flooded back roads. The tuktuk suddenly began leaning toward the right. So there I was, standing under an awning by the side of a small road, looking at a disabled tuktuk and listening to the rain.
It’s hard to convey just how much mental energy went into pain suppression, so that I could actually THINK in the remaining part of my mind. There was sadness over things I couldn’t share in with my friends, and fear that I was seen as lazy for not joining in.
After ten years living in the thick air of Beijing, I still remember not only what smog looks like, but what it FEELS like. There are physical consequences to breathing smog (which I suspect has affected my health more than I care to know), but there is also an emotional impact to living in a darkened world.
I have a very low tolerance for salicylic acid, a naturally occurring food acid. When I cut my intake it makes a literally life changing difference. I’m sorry if I don’t like your food, but I’d rather be seen as a picky eater than be in pain.
I love the sound of rain on a tin roof. It’s like music made by nature and humans working together. I just let the sound of the rain wash over me. Having lived most of my life in semi-dry climates rain always seems special to me.
Yesterday was a big day – I send the first draft of the book to my publisher/editor. I had my first Khmer (Cambodian) language lesson. Finally, it was a big day because it marked one month since I arrived in Phnom Penh.