Passing By

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February 11th 2016
Published: February 11th 2016
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I slipped by the barricade at the end of the new concrete roadway. I needed to walk before sleeping at my hotel in this small town in northern Cambodia.
The surface was still white and unused. When completed, local residents would no longer wrestle with the dirt road, muddy during the rainy season and sandy now in the dry. As I enjoyed walking the level surface, I laughed at the footprints made by animals when the concrete was fresh--dogs of all sizes, birds, even cows large and small. Wouldn't it be amusing to find the bare feet of a toddler pressed into the path?

Hey, wait a second, it's still wet! Hey, I'm making footprints! Sure enough, my Keen sandals had pressed their designer tread into the recently poured concrete. I quickly stepped over to the dirt road, for if I had continued, I would have made a serious mess on the surface and on my shoes. I startled a dog who had just plodded through the soup to root through a pile of garbage on the other side. He beat a hasty retreat through the muck, coating his paws with concrete. Not one second did I hesitate as I bent over to scratch "Terry" into the fresh pour. Hasn't everyone wanted to do that?

I giggled to think of Cambodians pondering the English letters spelling out the strange word, with a patterned shoe print nearby. Will anyone guess that it was me, a traveler from afar who feels as though this country is her second home?

Right then, a man and woman on a motorbike got stuck in a sandy spot next to my name. She exploded in laughter as I turned to take their photo. He took a photo of me taking a photo.

Ahh, Cambodia! I passed this way, Cambodia. Thank you for allowing me to experience this precious place and the beautiful spirit of your people!

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11th February 2016

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