A Reprint From An Article Written Nearly 10 Years Ago
We see the bright, vivid colors of the fresh fruits at the market. We see the single-file lines of orange-robed Buddhist monks walking from house to house, shielded from the sun by their yellow umbrellas. We see the large family of monkeys playing in the trees near the post office. We see the cyclos, motos, cars, and trucks whizzing by in every direction, rarely stopping and rarely obeying any of the laws of the road.
We hear the loud, piercing chants of the monks saying prayers over a loudspeaker at a funeral. We hear the massive sheets of rain pounding the roof during the rainy season. We hear the nasally call of the "pang-pang" man as he makes his way slowly down the street selling bread. We hear the fried noodle vendors as they notify the neighborhood of their presence by rhythmically beating wooden sticks together. We hear the loud, sensual beats of Cambodian love songs pouring from the karaoke parlors. We hear the incessant honking of the traffic during rush hour.
We smell the overpowering aroma of incense being burned at many houses in the neighborhood. We smell the unmistakable odor of Cambodian sausage cooking on a street vendor's cart. We smell one of the many open sewers in the city, and we hold our breath.
We taste the dust from the roads. We taste the ever-present bowl of rice, and the indescribably bitter tea that is served to us in houses. We taste a delicious bowl of curry that was made under the trees and over an open fire. We taste the sweet flavor of the popular sugar cane drinks.
We feel the weight of soaked clothes after being caught in a violent downpour on our moto. We feel the sweat seeping from our bodies in the hot season. We feel the frantic scrambling of a cockroach against our toes as we discover one's been hiding in our shoes. We feel every pothole on certain roads. We feel the slimy texture of the small, grape-like fruit called "ply-mien". We feel the mosquito bites, the heat, and the occasional cool, refreshing breeze. We feel the weight of a country that does not know Christ.
Cambodia may be a lot of things, but one thing it is NOT is boring! I'm sure you could live here a hundred years and still not experience everything. Every day is a new adventure...a new experience...a new sight, a new smell, and new sound, a new feel, a new taste...
I'm so thankful that God called us to Cambodia, the Land Of All Five Senses.