Mastodon Michael Perry

Creating less with less

I’ve thought on this for awhile. Kinda touched it on the blog. The blog here has really turned into a combination thing for me. I tell you the stories perhaps hidden in a diary and also the moments out there.

This is one of the private things. No diary to either extol or demean in. Today is the day before payday and we are broke. We have about 4K Riel between us. That’s $1. We managed to find enough for soup this morning and coffee. Alin asked the cafe manager to let us eat tomorrow for free and we will pay them later. Then we find some little bit of money to get two lattes for me and a coffee for her. We talk a lot this morning about life together. It came to me that we really do not need a lot of something like money. What we need is just enough to be happy with. Alin will cook dinner for me tonight. It will not be expensive steak or the best pork ribs. It will be her delicious fried rice with spicy sauces that I love so much.

Counter to perhaps many people here that believe Khmer women are after their money, Alin never has asked for things. What she does do is tell me when we talk why we should do a thing. We bought land before in the province and there was no pressure to do. It was our choice to do the land. We have spent the money happily when we have it but one thing we decided is not to get so broke again where we count single dollars or riel.

Neither of us are despondent or blaming. Alin looks at today like today. She tells me she will not cook tomorrow and we will go out for dinner and so we will.

I struggled for awhile with a journal. Like what is the line between personal things like above and photos of walking or my day to day life in Cambodia. The line blurred most recently. I could not see clearly where one ended and the other started. It became evident if I wrote here and wrote there, I was reliving the events twice or thrice. Some of the events are painful in themselves. Life is not all happiness or joy or sharing a moment together. We have argued over things, had differing opinions, she has cried sometimes and I’ve felt bad. In the end though when she leaves to do a thing, she will stop and run back to me and hold me even in tears and tell me she loves me. Kisses me. Lets me know that she is mine no matter good or bad times.

Today we talked about things we will do. She will go this morning and visit family around Siem Reap. Perhaps go look at some land she would like to perhaps buy if they reach an agreement on a lower price. I perhaps have mentioned that land is the big thing here. Money comes and goes but Khmer people sell land to get money. So perhaps Alin will decide to make my premonition true or change things. Live I’ve said with life with her, she leads. I just follow where she goes. I am not a good leader. I also trust her implicitly with everything. There is no other way to be. She has what little I have and she gives back this unconditional love and affection.

I figure throughout life here with her, I’ve decided to never go back. I want to have exactly what I have now. I told her this morning I waited so long for her that now I want just what we have. She told me passionately her too. She wanted someone to share life and moments with, to whisper of love, to see today become so much better and more fun.

In the end, the chief goal everyone has is to find happiness and joy in life. Just like the buddhist monk told me before. The lines just blur now between what I write here and what I could write there. What the F is the difference anyways? I dunno. Life is life.

My life is bound up with Cambodia. With all it offers for both happiness and joy. Far away from cares and conditions and limits. From ex-wives that punished and cheated on me. I’ve learned though something from both Alin and mindfulness. I’ve learned to finally accept all that and move on. At one point, I expostulated that I could only live with” some things. That was wrong. You cannot be happy and joyful in life if you live with some things. I needed the release of it all. To let it all go and I figured out finding someone was key. I needed all the years to find Alin and then those other things which I felt were burdens and weights slipped away. Does it make sense?

I think so.

The other thing which has happened is I am accepted as I am. Not a Khmer or a expat but this between creature. The wonder thing are the khmer kids that will run to me, hug me, yell hello mike”. The young woman that calls me daddy and will always fuss over me, make sure I am happy, and even go to the local shop and bring back a beer for me. The Khmer men that bring me cold beer and we toast over dinner just how wonderful that moment is. The expats on the other hand seem to wither away. They become these less creatures. Bound up with their lives.

Soon though we move away. Go to Kampot. It seems only fitting to share a photo of Kampot one of the last times we went.

This day we wandered the city a bit, decided on drinks out at the Kampot Fish Market Bar and watched how the sun deliciously set and the bridge did its part. Yeah. All the moments we had both private and public and so many have been put to words here.

This blog is the private and public affectation of a life spent with thoughts. Sometimes in Mexico and others in Vietnam. But those past lives seem placed in their containers and taken out at various times because Alin or her family asks about how life was in a place. I’ve been fortunate to be able to show people some places. I’ve also been fortunate to be able to finally just accept the things that happened before. Yeah, it took a long time to cross the bridge. I walked the bridge that day in Kampot because I wanted. The life bridge from way back when to now was also crossed.

Thanks to my darling Alin.

Here’s to you my sexy baby. Love you.

May 14, 2023