What were you doing 30 odd years ago ? Like me, I bet you were tucked up in suburbia enjoying the good life ?I was happily attending Neutral bay Public School in Sydney, enjoying being a Boy Scout, riding skateboards, learning how to surf and generally leading the life of a happy little kid. Australia was and is the Lucky Country and the greatest threat I faced was a wooden spooning from my dad ( or my teacher ) for being a cheeky little sod.
I remember CLEARLY the nightly Channel 9 news reports about the almost weekly arrival of “boat people” from Kampuchea. As they desperately tried to escape the Khmer Rouge many made it in tiny overloaded boats, many didn’t. I also remember that at the time the school yard jokes centred around Kampucheans and their skininess. As a 10 year old,I had no idea where Kampuchea was or why they were coming to our country.
Well, imagine my surprise that 30 years later I find myself living in Cambodia, married to a Cambodian lady and with Cambodian family . Life takes you on some amazing turns. I have blogged mostly about the banal, amusing and frivolous for some time now but the other night I was reading Pol Pot’s autobiography whilst my daughter Grace ( half Cambodian / half Australian ) slept beside me. It is a very heavy read and when they get into the real desperate years, it is..well..harrowing. I just found myself thinking all over again how much Cambodia and it’s people have been through.
This is where I choose to live and despite it’s horrific recent history, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
All photos courtesy of http://www.time.com