I’m perched on this high stool, computer on the wooden bar. I’m waiting for lunch break to come and lead me to a heavenly, greasy burger. My friends are sprawled out on wicker chairs behind me, in various states of hungover disarray. They’re watching Seven Years in Tibet on a computer.
A window’s cut in the wooden wall, from where I’m sitting I can see the main lawn of Phare, the music school and the entrance of the circus school. I see Cambodian life, kids splashing around in huge puddles on the lawn, which now looks like a dirty swimming pool. It’s still raining, but it’s not the monsoon type downpour, more like this evergoing, annoyingly thin, icy prickle you have to endure. Closer to Belgian rain. I does not make me homesick.
A yeiy protects the baby she’s holding from the rain with her krama. A passing tuk tuk’s stuck in the mud, half a dozen strong guys from the circus school watching from their perch as bong Xavi and a fifteen year old kid push it off the muddy lawn. Bunthet, ever the cool guy, rolls up his jeans and discards his shoes before jumping into a puddle to annoy passing school girls in their pristine black and white uniform.
Sometimes I have my doubts, but I know that deep down I want to be here, I want to be the witness of this simple, beautiful life playing out in front of me. I know now that I can’t really be part of it. But I still love to see it happen.