One of the representative features of living in Cambodia is that you find yourself immerse in very complex feelings. You can have at the same time two opposite sensations with equal brutal intensity. A good example is what happens to you when you are in the market and, at the same time, you can perceive an amazing smell of the yummiest meal ever and the awful stink of the most disgusting rubbish coming from the sub-world. In this precise moment, you can’t tell if you want to eat or vomit. But you want them both. A lot.
In this sense, this village is giving us a deep Cambodian experience. Last night, while enjoying dinner with the sensation of a well done job, we had the opportunity to learn more about the Khmer Rouge period by a survivor. Cambodian people never accompany their stories with the faces that a Spanish person expects; no matter what they are telling, it always comes with a smile and it is usually hard to guess the right feeling behind it. This time we could really understand the feeling behind the smile. The experiences that were told recreate such powerful images that we could actually connect with the fear, the cold, the sadness, the hunger. We were touched and honoured for receiving this heart-breaking story. When we arrive home, absolute change of story. Waiting for us, there is a cheerful party full of toasts. Up, down, up, down…
Following with this rollercoaster, this morning we witness the death of a cat. While having breakfast, in two seconds, a dog enters the restaurant, bites the cat very badly and leaves. Everybody continues with their chitchat, their rice and their noodles. The cat shakes and bleeds to death on the floor.
Lots of feelings, too much intensity.