Friday, December 5, 2008

Things I'll miss: #7 Storms

Storm filling up the river in Mondulkiri

One night back in April, I woke up to bright flashing lights in the window behind my bed. Half awake I squinted my eyes out of the window, but the screen-obscured view did little to tell me if it was from ambulance lights (seemed unlikely) or a strobe, or aliens (my number on hypothesis in my semi-conscious state). Totally curious, I groped for my glasses, wrapped myself up in my bedsheet (more for a sense of security than to protect from cold) and headed out to my balcony. Outside the entire sky was flashing, lighting up a wall of dark grey clouds from behind every 10 seconds. My first view of sheet lightening.

Storms in Cambodia are gorgeous. You can't ignore the negative aspects - damage from flooding, downed power lines, the aftermath of pools of waters where mosquitos breed - but the storms are also part of the cycle that sustain a way of life. The rice crop, the fish yield, they all rely on the crazy wet season. It's lovely being inside in a Cambodian downpour. The metal roofs amplify the sound of the rain so you can't hear music from your laptop speakers, let alone hear yourself think.

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