I had the most delightful afternoon at the homestead. Nikki (my kind hostess) in engaged to Da, her former driver. We visited Da's family's farm which lies about a half hour by scooter on the road to SR. They were so kind and made such an effort to make me feel at home. His mom prepared cambodian style curry (much less hot, but equally as flavorful as indian-- I think I prefer it) and pork w/ veggies, and rice that they grew themselves. The food was so savory, she prepared it over an open fire (it was just a rusted piece of tin to block the wind and a few bricks) and we ate on the floor (there was a soft mat) in an ancient, soot stained "cottage" (that doubles as a roadside mart-- gas was for sale in recycled gin bottles, a few boxes of ciggies, and a cooler full of the real commodity-- ice), with chickens and dogs and children poking around. After lunch we got back on the scooters and followed his mom (she bicycled) to the house. Its two stories, with the cows and the open living room downstairs and bedrooms upstairs. They pumped me for information about living in America and were horrified to learn that I commuted 40 mi every day (a three hour trip in C). I met his grandparents. His GP was missing an arm (in the war presumably) and his torso was covered with traditional tattoos (they were pretty blurry-- looked like scipt). I badly wanted to take a picture of him, but when I asked, he quickly threw on clothes, grabbed his wife, brushed away some garbage and stood proudly in front of his house. So much for a candid shot. He ordered his grandson, Hoi, to serve us coconut water (different than coconut juice), so he whipped out a pruning hook that must have been 20 feet long. It took two people to manuever it and they cut fresh coconuts from the tree. They are huge and green, then his mother pulled a machete from somewhere and chopped the tops off and they stuck a straw in, and voila! fresh coconut water. It had the kick of raw food (like that burning sensation you get from a fresh apple) but it was very lightly sweet and clear.
I haven't been drawing very much, a little on the plane. been taking pictures like mad. went absolutely nuts in Bangkok (all of my fetishes were there-- from yummy logos, interesting doors, people, electrical details, and textures). things are a bit more rustic here in siem reap and I am not as comfortable getting in people's faces, especially the beggars and the people who are obviously suffering. I love taking pictures of happy children. they are fun to look at, but the beggar children are acutely painful to see (esp the land-mind amputees). i have taken a bunch of pictures of them anyways. I am so used to seeing images of happy kids... I feel like I should be doing more, its so heartbreaking. Its such a weird reality/image conundrum. the kids are real, they are in a bad place... i don't know where I am going with this... I probably won't ever figure it out. then people say not to give them anything because it will just go to their beggar-pimps, and the best thing to do is ignore them. And if you even look at them, they totally dog you... following you for blocks, plaintively calling "madam, madam madam madam madam madam..." its heinous.
its raining right now, the streets are puddly.
n'um plough is my bastardisation of the greeting. people keep telling me words, but since I don't have a visual, they run out of my memory like water through a sieve. actually it might be a word for water (another hot commodity since the tap water is undrinkable).