You can feel it in the air…you can see it in the smiling toothless faces of the cyclo drivers…you can sense it in the plump, taught booties of all the laughing girls.
New Years is nigh. Eager families loaf in front of the Royal palace at night, chewing seeds and eating roasted corn cobs. Monks chuckle as they glide past in their orange robes. Teenagers dance in groups by the riverside at night next to big boomboxes powered by car batteries.
There’s an honest, authentic enthusiasm in the air: the people here haven’t been trained to be cynical (yet?), and there is no such thing as ironic hipsterism–amongst the Khmers at least. (some expatriates and many of the plump NGO women in their early twenties have carried this sickness with them from their developed motherlands)
Thus this is a refreshing break from the usual holidays of the West: Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc…Christmas and Thanksgiving merging like two gigantic cities to engulf all the intervening weeks into a sort of diminished, flaccid, nervous “suburb”of holiday time.
Anyway, I’ve sent for the tapes of Susan Hero, and G will send them shortly. Thus, with a Firewire HD and some borrowed editing software, I can commence cutting the movie at long last.
Running on fumes money wise. I’have some residual cash in my Wells Fargo and Citibank accounts, but in a few months this will be absorbed by the bank fees alone unless it is replenished.
I have a roll of a couple hundred US dollars in my cupboard to carry me through, and I’m getting paid in cash from my teaching gigs and limited video jobs, so cash is King.
We’ll see what happens, I’m putting out feelers to go work in Hong Kong or Japan if I run out of money. Also of course trying to get grants for various doc projects, but the grant racket is slow and chancy at best…still, given all this, my quality of life is better here than it has been in the US for a long time, and I’m enjoying this New World.