Phnom Penh


The elastic is going in my nickers, saggy draws, the only reason they don’t slide to the floor is my resolute tugging at the waste band. My hair normally a mass of thick gold has decided to spin itself into loopy wire that sticks out of my head like a thin blond Afro halo. Sigh….

It all kinda matches the other saggy bits. Mirror, mirror? I’ll just slide past you and wipe the sweat off my forehead as I lurch for the fan settings, better, it’s set on jet speed and the cool air is drying the rivulets of salty perspiration sliding down my face and back.

Make up, hummmm one look in the mirror and all I can see are the toothpaste splashes and this stranger being melted by the tropical heat. The mascara dissolves and slides off my face. Today a petite and immaculate local took to my face with a tissue after a day trotting about the markets. The sultry, stultifying, crowded, addictive markets with countless rolls of cloth, cotton, polyester, sequins, gabardine, checks, colours, a primary and paisley feast.

The days are hot the nights restful as the night noises of this straggling city arise. The karaoke somewhere down the street, the loud croaking lizard who lives just outside my room along with the buzz of tuk tuks and the hum of traffic.