Monday, February 18, 2013

Dispatch from Cambodia, 11 // The End is Near

Three nights left in Cambodia. I'm starting to feel a bit anxious about going home. 
These last three months have been a retreat from my generally unpredictable everyday life. Hang out with family. Read a lot of books. Scribble in my journal. Spend a lot of time in coffee shops. Look at Tumblr a lot. I've kept things simple to the point where most people might get terribly bored, but I'm happy as long as I have books to read and time to write.
What most mornings look like.
All the while, though, I've been thinking about what I'll do with myself when I get back. So perhaps I have not been as present with my experience here as I could have been. A part of that was due to worrying about being a tourist here or gravitating into the largely-white expat scene. I worked some of that out in the last few weeks. I didn't do everything I considered doing here, like go on climbing trips or volunteer or work or check out the arts scene, but other things happened that I hadn't considered: I started learning to read and write Khmer, had long talks with family members, had some good email exchanges, and remembered how much I like listening to music obsessively (especially while writing poetry).
Khmer consonants. I almost remember them all.
I got to experience two New Years in Cambodia: the Western one and the Lunar New Year. My relatives have been urging me to stay and ring in the Khmer new year, too, in April. I was tempted, but there's too much waiting for me (too much that I'm looking forward to) in California. 
Lunar New Year promo from Brown, where I've spent a lot of time recently.
I have a fluttery feeling about going home. Moreso than I did when I was getting ready to leave.

I remind myself that it will be good. It will be good to spend 22 hours in transit, and step out of the airport into the cool Los Angeles air. It will be good to remember how to drive my car. It will be good to see the people I've been missing. It will be good to move forward on some of the things I've been marinating on during the last three months of being sort of a hermit/recluse. It will be good to be reunited with my coffee grinder and french press. It will be good to step out of this relaxed life, and back into the lovely chaos.

Spring is coming.

(I read four of the Game of Thrones books in January. Yup.)

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