The Khmer Rouge had slaughtered all of our driver's family except for one grandfather. In 2003, I traveled through Thailand and Cambodia with my cousins and their Thai relatives. From Songkran, the national New Year's water fight, to the jungle Angkor temple of Ta Phrom, strangled by massive fig trees, to a meeting in Phnom Penh with a Minister of Justice to discuss the trial of Duch, famed Khmer Rouge killer, to a children's hospital in Siam Reap, to the torture prison of Tuol Sleng, where innocents were tortured before being sent to the Killing Fields, to a strange labyrinth of con men in search of the perfect ruby, I traveled.
"You no buy, you make me sad," said the girls outside the temples of Angkor Wat, selling their tourist curios. I put on a kromah, the red and white scarf of the Khmer Rouge, grabbed a knife and said to a group of young Cambodians, "Grrrr, I'm Khmer Rouge." They laughed hysterically and took my picture. A woman in the temple of Bayon, tending incense before a naga, had no hands and no feet. We search madly for a charger for my camera in Bankgkok, then decompress with meditation in front of the Emerald Buddha at the Grand Palace. Scuba diving in Anemone Bay, a damselfish takes a chunk out of my ankle. Baby elephants share the sidewalk in Ao Nong. I compose a song: "Buddha was a Hindu, Jesus was a Jew. Mohammed used to run around in worn out shoes. We're all a little different than what we're supposed to be. I'm a little like you. You're a little like me." Monks in saffron robes. Tuktuks and motorcycles and trains and boats and planes. Five star hotels on the Chao Phraya River. My cousin's dogs in Santa Monica. This was a trip, a real trip.
|Title:||You No Buy, You Make Me Sad|
|Author:||William J Wood Jr.|
|Dimensions:||6 x 9 x 0.10 inches|
|File Size (Kindle):||2906 KB|
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