Today I went to Cambodia.
My alarm sounded at 438 am. I don’t like setting it right on the thirty or the double zeros.
I went to the washroom and put soap on my hands, turned the tap and was not rinsed. I pressed the flusher down. Nothing.
It is okay.
I wipe my hands on the towel.
I am out of the house at 526am after a quick bowl of Rice Krispies and a glass of chocolate milk.
I leave the pee and the toilet paper, all mixed together, but I close the lid. I leave my teeth unbrushed and grab a mento instead.
I walk through my village to the entrance. Some people are already up- I can see their shapes sliding around sleepily.
and i don’t go down the soi that has the scary, pant-biting, leaping out-behind-cars dog.
I waited ten minutes for a white van to pull up. ‘ Yes it is my phone number you are holding,’ I confirm.
I am the first passenger in the van but we pick up 8 more a long the way.
The ride is dutifully uneventful.
Once at the border we stand in lines while the Cambodian children come asking for money. Due to previous trips, I recognize the one with no teeth. He’s old enough to have teeth, why doesn’t he have teeth. I am holding an empty milk carton and when the boy comes to me I shake my head, then suddenly decide to offer him the carton. expecting him to shake his head back. Without hesitation he grabs it and runs. I am surprised and sad, and stand in the corner against a wall, wondering if they’ll be doing this the rest of their lives, wondering if this is their side job, and thinking that, trying to convince myself that-they have family to care for them.
The four hour ride home is also uneventful. Even though I am the last to get dropped off, it is only 332 in the afternoon when I unlock the first of three locks upon entry into my home. I forget that the water wasn’t working that morning and so it startles me when nothing but air jolts out, chugging its way to full pressure.I smile once the water streams out.
I am two more months legal in Thailand.