September 23, 2011

mental picture.

I wished I could capture it on camera but I knew nothing could catch the awe-inspiring details except for my mind. The sheer power of the SE Asian monsoon is a sight to be seen, to be heard, to smell. The humid morning watches the gray clouds roll into the city and by late afternoon, into the night, dense rain envelopes as far as you can see. Standing on the balcony, I am in awe of a typical, rainy season night in Cambodia, of where I am at that moment, of everything that got me to that point. Trying to take a mental picture of the scene, I have to write.

Looming 5 floors above, I have a bird’s eye view of the action below, the tuk tuk’s covered trailers carrying tourists caught in the storm, the soaked teenagers riding their bikes and splashing each other with no care in the world, puddles gathering with dirty, lukewarm water. In the distance, beyond a big courtyard, the haunting peaks of the palaces look like they are floating in the fog, only dimly lit by the few streetlights. The exotic structures leave me breathless every time, like something right out of a picture book. But right outside my door.

It will likely rain all night, the moist morning sun brings the hot air, that is cooled at night in an endless cycle. The deafening sound quickens and slows through the window, rain is a strong force in Asia, making the rivers flow, the land green and lush, slowing down life just enough so that is okay to just sit and watch the rain come down, the wet world go by. I knew I could not take a photo of rain misting my face, the wind whipping the smoke above the city, the rhythm of the fat drops on the tin rooftops, the white clouds wispy in the sky. The contrasts of old and new, rich and poor, happy and sad, ugly and beautiful, mixing together in this land that has been known by many names. This place stimulates all your senses and the best memories are tucked away in your mind.

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