We often talk about Cambodia. For undoubtedly there must be no person dead or living who has been to Cambodia and then never thought about it again. Cambodia is always there somewhere. Possibly stored and neatly catalogued in some recess of your memory. And then on one grey, melting winter afternoon as you sit with a cup of coffee and look out of the window it resurfaces unannounced. And a small little voice starts to sing, “Lady, lady 3 for 1 dollar.” Thus scattering the catalogue, throwing all neatness off course. Leaving you with a rush of memories that your brain tries to unsuccessfully restore to some semblance of order. And with a shake of your head you wonder how do you deal with Cambodia.
How does one gather all these strands wandering off into numerous directions and reconstruct the web of experiences that is Cambodia. When all the while your mind replays the voice and it’s hypnotic refrain of something, something, something one dollar. And all you want to do is sit in some small restaurant under a gigantic banyan tree with the voice and listen to it going on and on till we are all transported to that safe place which exists only in our childhoods somewhere between before the light is turned off and the prince and princess lived happily ever after.
Thus you move onto other things and other memories but the unresolved question about Cambodia gently nudges you. And you promise to one day gather all the threads and weave together a befitting portrait. But until then you let this little voice of innocence predominate the narrative as it chants on and on that every childhood should be safe and all its memories sweet.