Waking up to this every day.
I think I really should keep a dream journal. My dreams are getting more realistic and violent every single time.
Last night was by far the weirdest.
I was just sitting on my bed, doing my work as usual when suddenly my mom came running in. It’s confusing at first because I don’t live with my family…
I remembered I couldn’t see her face, but I know it was my mom. The smell, and the voice, everything was familiar sans face. Understandably so, since I haven’t seen her in over a year. Maybe that was an indication that I miss her? Maybe…
Back to the dream, she came running in a with a piece of paper and sat down at the edge of my bed, silent. She unfold the paper and gave it to me and then started crying. Her cry was silent and without tears, as if she was faking it.
I took the paper off of her, and it was blank. Blank except for one tiny little red sentence. I was diagnosed with AIDS. I didn’t panic, maybe my subsconcious knew it was a dream therefore prevented a reaction.
I just sat there, resuming my work. Still in silence, my mom walked away and the scene changed.
Now I was running, it was dark but I knew that street. Shophouses on my left and right, it was nearby where I stayed. I kept running, no idea where.
Err…shit. I think that wasn’t how it happened. Something just jogged my memory as I typed this. Hold on a second…
Okay so THIS is how it went down after the first scene.
I walked up to a guy I have absolutely no idea who, and ask him where I could get a really good message around here. You see, where I live there are loads of massage places, but not the obscure, happy ending kind. A really good massage places where they often overcharge you for “extra” services like facial or hot stone massage or whatever.
The guy that I talked to said something but I couldn’t understand, so I followed him. The streets are empty, no cars, nothing. At a distance I could see some people chatting (again with no voice) and drinking. Some gave me cold stares. I ignored.
We then reached this weird looking building with only one light, and he pointed to a very large door. I went in.
And then I ran. I kept on running, panting, grabbing my chest. Why was I running?
Something is chasing me, I couldn’t make out what it is. It looks human, but it’s grotesque. Was it male? Female? I’ve no clue. I just kept running.
At this point I can already start to hear voices. No, not voices, people screaming telling to get the fuck out of there as far as I can. I obliged.
There is no other way but to distract the being. I heard people calling it the ‘undead’.
The scene changed again but this time, I can still feel I was being chased. I am back on my bed, sweating and out of breath. My mom is at the door, looking at me. She keep saying “AIDS” like a hundred times.
And then my aunt walked in (weird how my family members just randomly showed up in my bedroom).
She said “I can save you. Run.”
And then I started running again. I looked back from my shoulders and I can see my aunt extending her arms towards the ‘undead’. It was weird, it was…it was sensual almost.
I kept running and then I heard “AIDS!” really loudly. I looked back and there it was, my aunt is having an intercourse with the ‘undead’.
She yelled, “RUN! I WILL SAVE YOU”.
Then I woke up with all of this still fresh and vivid in my head. I couldn’t make anything out of it. What the fuck is wrong with me?
Every footsteps that breaks the silence that is the night, we carefully turned our heads when a suspicious-looking Khmer guy wearing a faded salmon t-shirt suddenly waved at us. Holding a cigarette box on his right hand, he quickly, but steadily, made his way to approach our tuk tuk. “Don’t worry, we’re all friends here,” said our tuk tuk driver. It wasn’t very convincing, at least not to me. Nick kept reassuring me that he’s a nice guy and that we could trust him, but I had a hard time doing so. And this coming from a guy who is sometimes, very gullible. As his friend quicken his pace, at approximately 100 metres away and there it was, the smell of the gods as I would say it. I recognized it as soon as it reached my chemoreceptors, triggered by tiny, untrimmed nose hairs and straight to my olfactory lobe. Took me awhile to finally ask the tuk tuk driver how much it costs. His reply faded with the sound of hundreds other tuk tuks speeding along the 136 street, with a bunch of Ang mo sitting uncomfortably on their faux leather seats, even so I could instantly catch what he said earlier, “10 for 30 dollars.” Well that does it, my brain’s spinning and my heart starts pumping blood everywhere; unplanned, dramatic and frankly, kind of addictive.
Happy 420, fellow potters.
In the absence of humanity, evil prevails.
— Written on the walls of Tuol Sleng prison of Phnom Penh
Across the road
As the tuk tuk driver steps on the pedal of his bike, dust and smoke rose from the street and into the air, and also into my breathing system. I could feel the hard texture of the sand, grinding on my teeth and it tasted fucking aweful. I tried speaking to Nick but he’s busy taking pictures, as usual; so I took a seat facing the opposite from where the wind is blowing while still dodging every sand/dust/gravel that were flying towards me, pretending I was playing ‘Asteroids’. This wasn’t his first, therefore I was pretty stoked to see people driving on the wrong side of the road, or more so speeding viciously, minding nothing but their own lives. Here, “every man for his own” is accurately applied.
Speaking of roads, the Khmers do not really have road ethics. Or roads to be exact but that’s being mean. They could just easily make a U-turn when someone else is literally turning into the same junction. Loud honks and sirens exploding in mid air as bikes and vespas speeding through the newly, but terribly, tarred road. Huge four-wheel-drives rampaged through the street like elephants on loose, powerless sedan cars overtaking the poor and smaller vehicles while the rest of the minorities repeatedly stepping on their brakes, avoiding the aristocrats.
It’s definitely a scary experience; almost like being in a horror movie, minus the credits. With the lack of traffic lights and signboards on the streets, it’s a wonder I haven’t encountered any accidents yet. Our tuk tuk driver on the other hand, is a sweet and caring Khmer guy who apparently just enrolled in a University. When asked, the cost to study Accounting in Cambodia is merely $400 a year. My friend and I was taken aback, more so after he said Medicine course only cost $100 more. He kindly, and humbly replied as we sat there in amazement, “But our degree is not recognized worldwide. We’re Cambodians.” Power, what human being is lacking.
Stroll in the embankment
As the cold breeze crept through my unreasonably thin jacket, I realized that I do, I really do miss London. Coming back for the third time reminds me of how unappreciative I was to be able to visit this city every year and yet it’s still a stranger to me.
I finally gave a week to really explore the city; walking/riding the tube/buses, basically what every other Londoner is doing. Not that I aspire to become one. One thing that I really miss about the city?
It’s the people.
Blaring the only indie/chill music I could find on my iPod Shuffle, I took a stroll down the River Thames on the embankment and feel the unbelievably cold breeze hit my face like a botox injection.
I remembered taking a picture of a weird looking ship that carries what it appears to be tons of black trash bags with a large billboard that says “This is what we found in the river every day”. It’s guerilla advertising, simple yet so impeccable in sending the message through.
It was a Sunday morning and there were a lot of people walking along the embankment. It was possibly the warmest winter ever, I could almost feel my sweat glands ‘trying’ to produce sweat. It was sunny out, but it’s working well hand-in-hand with the winter breeze to the point that it felt so uncomfortable to even be out.
It’s been 3 days since I last go to gym, and apparently gym closes on Sundays here. I had my running shoes on, iPod clipped on the side of my shirt and a pair of headphones that when turned on, you’re instantly disconnected from the world, so why not take a jog along the river?
I jogged, and stopped after a few meters because it was too fucking cold. I encountered a few people with their shortest pants ever and a shirt that when seen carefully, you could almost see their nipples cutting through a hole trying to breath. I guess they’re already used to the temperature. I couldn’t even stand jogging for a few minutes much less running. So I decided to let go and do some push-ups and crunches on a very questionable bench.
Exercising, or what’s lacking of it, took a few minutes of my Sunday. I regret waking up early and dashed for the showers just in case someone was there first. The hostel I was in has really weird shower placements, and the shower itself was not a pleasant one. It had this sort of odd looking button that when you press it long enough, hot water came pouring and basically boiled your head off. I understand it’s winter and everything, but seriously? Hot, steamy, boiling water? What the fuck.
Imagine getting boiled every morning, and for a person who showers twice a day is definitely a negative disposition to be in. I started showering once a day and after a few days, almost definitely no shower at all. I figured, it’s winter so it’s okay not to shower.
Shower or not, I can still imagine that river, that embankment and that cold breeze on my face. If I should ever come back, I’d do the same thing all over again. This time, I’d put some fucking thermal jacket on and embrace the weather.