Furthur (IV)

Pursat, Cambodia

Filling station

A roadside filling station with bottles of gasoline

Pursat, Pursat province, Cambodia

11:00: We arrive in Pursat, and meet members of a local NGO. My grasp of Khmai is extremely limited, but my impression is that the conversation goes something like this.

“Hello. It is almost two hours since our last gigantic meal, and we are faint with hunger.”

“No problem. I will take you to a restaurant where they will feed you so much that your eyeballs will pop from your heads and roll away down the road.”

“Sounds good. Let’s go.”

14:00: We go to a roadside karaoke bar to do more interviews. M. and K. set up shop at the corner table. The driver, sensing that this is going to be a lengthy business, climbs into a hammock and goes to sleep. Flies buzz sleepily in the heat.

14:30: Flies buzz sleepily in the heat. The driver begins to snore, creating a ripple of amusement among the karaoke girls.

14:45: Flies buzz sleepily in the heat. The tallest of the karaoke girls wants to have her photo taken with the funny-looking foreigner. The driver falls out of the hammock, causing further amusement.

17:45: The flies have stopped buzzing sleepily, and have been replaced by mosquitos, which buzz hungrily. M. and K. have now interviewed two-thirds of the population of Pursat. The others in our group have moved on to a shack next to the railway tracks, where a solitary girl plies her trade. P. points to the shack, the railway tracks, and the landscape and urges me to take pictures of everything. The woman from the local NGO points at the setting sun and says “Art! Art!”

17:50: A man arrives carrying a dead snake in a plastic bag. P. shrieks “Snake! Take a picture! Snake!” and flees north along the railway tracks.

20:30: Pineapple and dragonfruit smoothies.