A funny thing about our coffee friends (see previous post): They understand what weâ€™re doing. For weeks, Iâ€™ve tried to explain to people that we are NOT moving back to the US, per se. Weâ€™re investing in a house, then returning to Asia for the bulk of our work. We will juggle time between two continents. (I prefer to think of myself as a nomad.) But thatâ€™s a difficult concept for many Westerners to understand â€“ you either live in a place or you donâ€™t; the transient way of life falls outside the boundaries of acceptable or understandable.
But our coffee shop friends understand perfectly. This is a gathering place for men from faraway provinces who make the long trek to Phnom Penh in order to rent a cyclo, peddle a few people around town for a week or two or three, then return home to family and farm with (they hope) a small bundle of riel in their pockets. Cambodia is, after all, a country whose people understand the necessity of movement. Work and home often do not converge.
What our friends perhaps donâ€™t understand is that Jerry and I pick this lot in life. In Cambodia, transience is born of necessity but rarely choice.