The ground up.  Or as Pol Pot coined it, Year Zero.   We dawdled in Siem Reap a few more days to recapture fleeting moments of the Khmer empire.  The remnants of the ancient city leaves an aftershock, a ghostly thrumming of its former power, the obsidian stone unmovable, yet holding secrets.  Ta Prohm affected me the most, a vicious reminder that we can manipulate nature for so long, until she reclaims what is hers.  I can still hear the Banyan tree whispering to me of hidden passages and dense cloth draping to conceal.  I know all these feelings play on my psyche, because of my dual nature.  During daylight, I play the devout girlfriend, while my nocturnal dreams seek new lovers and a fresh self.

Oh, but now we’re cast back into Phnom Penh awaiting visas for Laos and Vietnam.  Yesterday involved multiple events.  It was Pippa and Richard’s last night, so we splurged at a swanky restaurant called The Soup Dragon.  My nutrition hasn’t been up to par of late, yet my activity level continues to soar.  Bad, bad.  After rousing conversation, aided by bowls full of hot soup, we capped off the night at a bar called Heart of Darkness.  I laugh at how Vietnam is a whitewashed concept here.  All of Southeast Asia was not the war, just Nam’, people.  It’s the equivalent to a resurgence of Mao iconography at the Chinese gift shops in Chinatown back home.  If a cruel, insane control freak can be rendered benign and kitschy, why not war?  Leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

What else leaves a bad taste is this horrible guesthouse we ended