Another week has gone by and I have started to think less deliberately about Cambodia. Now it just hits me at random times when an experience makes me think of parallels from my time in Asia.
Walking is not as common in Jacksonville as I would like, mainly because the city is a large sprawl. However, I decided to walk to a meeting yesterday afternoon because the venue was literally 5 minutes away. Once I started my walk, I realized why most people don’t do it during the day- it is always TOO HOT. Walking in the heat immediately took me back to Cambodia and my daily lunch walks or walks to the market on weekends. Except there they involved a lot of vendors calling at you and you could never walk in peace and quiet. TUK TUK and MOTO became two words I hated hearing because there was just no rhyme or reason behind them. You could literally just get off a tuk tuk and another driver would call at you. This was a common complaint from expats because those of us that are used to saying no thank you had to keep stopping once or twice a minute to say Aw Tay (No Thank you in Khmer).
So now walking in silence in Jacksonville was so strange. I didn’t feel normal. I was craving to hear a honk or a scream or something. And then I felt crazy for wanting sounds we would label as obnoxious. This weird conundrum let me to hastily enter the wrong shop. I ended up in a vapor shop instead of a coffee shop.
This morning at breakfast, the theme of sound came back. There was a large family with two young children. One of these kids was screaming for fun at 9am. I think most patrons wanted the parents to do something about this but I loved it. It added “character” for me.
I never thought something as simple as sound would be a part of readjusting back to my life here but I guess you just never know what element is going to stick with you.