I’ve talked a lot about my family and missing them. How long I’ve been apart from them. The worry about my marriage, etc.
But on my second to last night, tomorrow being my last full day in Cambodia, I realise how much I will miss this place. Sure, there is rubbish, filth, at times putrid smells fill the air. But it has certainly taken my heart. The country is unusual – different to every where else I have experienced in Asia, different to everywhere else I’ve ever been. I didn’t think I’d ever visit a country that consumed me like Mexico did. The instant love. The instant knowledge that I had found a place I could live happily.
There are sights everyday that stimulate my senses – that remind me that I’m alive. The chaos works here, the crazy is endearing. The daily unexpected sights thrill me. Capture my mind, and fill me with an enormous sense of life. Of living. Of being.
The evenings are warm, there is always an air of excitement. An ongoing atmosphere that gives Cambodia it’s difference – it’s soul.
The culture amaze me, friendly, content, always moving forward – never looking back. A strength that’s seen it literally rise from the ashes of a not too distant horrific past.
The Mekong is polluted – to some it’s ugly. To me it remains beautiful – a constant gentle flow.
There is shocking eye gouging poverty here, but it needs to be seen, acknowledged – felt. Because somehow, within that misery lies hope. Faith.
The thoughts of NZ, it’s predictability, it’s cleanness, it’s functionality seemed a distant dream not long ago. The convenience of malls, the array of products – it’s regulations and rules that keep people in their boxes.
Now I fear the lacklustre of its immeninet closeness. I will miss the wild, free laughter of this culture, the constant beeping and humming of Motos. The food – it’s so good here. So fresh, so natural. The chains and supermarkets I thought I missed seem dull in thought.
I love my family and I can’t bare the separation much longer. But I feel that part of me will remain in Cambodia. And that this country has nourished my soul. Given me a new perspective and the hope of returning.
I came here thinking the country needed me, I came here with my ideas and my Western expectations. But all along – I needed Cambodia. I needed the richness of the people and the capacity to see things from outside my own head.
I needed Cambodia. And my need will remain with me. I will leave the country as though leaving behind a best friend that has become family to me.