So you’re a young Khmer guy in the big town of Siem Reap, and you’re out for dinner—alone. But your honey is on the phone, and your grin gives that fact away. You chat and chat with that grin real wide until the fried rice comes to the table. Then you wield the little black phone with the left hand, and a spoon with the right, devoting half your attention to each task in each hand. Neither the grin nor the conversation falters. You don’t even notice the barang sitting across from you, snapping your picture again and again and again, in quick succession. You pile the rice into your mouth, still talking and grinning, eyes cast downward, focused on rice—but every other bit of your being so obviously concentrating on the sweet sounds coming through that little black phone.
Then suddenly, inexplicably—though not unpleasantly, because the grin continues—the conversation ends and you can attend to your dinner with two hands. Fork in the left, spoon in the right; zip bang boom, the plate is clear, the bill is paid, and you’re off. You strut down the street with a little jig in your hips—and a big grin still carved in your face.