I’ve been studying Khmer – the ninth language I’ve studied in a classroom. These days both English and Chinese grammar feel natural to me – neither is awkward. But Khmer falls so in between that I get confused. The feeling that I’m mixing two individually comfortable but different grammars gets me all turned around!
China welcomed me back with the smell of pollution, as always, and just one day in I could feel the changes in my sinuses and my breathing. Also, I kept wanting to say the Khmer word for thank you. I have never defaulted to Khmer before!
August is rainy season in Cambodia. There was rain most days, some thunderstorms and flooding. I love it here. It is, the perfect blend of familiar and foreign. I speak survival Khmer – enough to get around, not enough to converse.