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Category Archives: cambodia

i bought a bicycle, a cute little old used black–of course, black–bicycle in the local market. it has a basket, a light and a bell, and some sort of i’ve-never-seen-this-before mesh over the back tire so your skirt doesn’t get caught in the spokes. 

i rode it last night, in the dark dark quiet quiet night, along the river, and heard nothing but the clackity clack of the tuk-tuks riding in the distance, probably picking up tourists from their night out at the local bars. i pedaled and pedaled, letting the hot breeze mess with my hair and feeling little trickles of sweat run, slithery and a bit cool, down my spine. a few other bikers passed me with their girlfriends riding side saddle on the rat-traps on the back, and they looked at me and smiled, kind of half surprised, half amused by the vision of this western girl riding freely through their streets.

now our streets.

i wasn’t going anywhere in particular; i just wanted to pretend that this was my city, my town, too. and act like a local, pushing myself to my little wooden cottage, the cottage with the slatted wooden shutters and the pots of bouganville, to cook some coconut rice or peel some ripe mangoes and smell that gorgeous, gorgeous frangipani scent waft through the open windows while sitting barefoot on the tiles, reading the newspaper. maybe burning some lemongrass incense to blend with the frangipani, just because. 

and for a moment, i closed my eyes, on that dark windy street, with my legs a bit tired and sore, and the humidity now dampening my bangs, and it was real, and i was home.