Next Door, Continents Away

Next Door, Continents Away
After getting off the bus from Siem Reap, I took a quick look at my email.
My next door neighbor had passed away. Except he wasn’t next door in Cambodia, he was next to my where my parents live in the States.
He’d been ill for some time, but it seemed somewhat unfair; he had always taken care of himself and exercised.
It’s times like these where physics and feelings are at odds. We can communicate instantly but can’t be there physically.
Why do I try to return to the States at least once a year? The cost of a plane ticket is about the cost of one year of college tuition for a Khmer student.
For the price of a flight to Bangkok? I could set up a local NGO. But there are some things you can’t put a price tag on.
My friends and family are dotted around the globe, but I don’t see much separation. Geologists speculate that once the Earth had one great land mass. That’s how I conceptualize it, as one space inside my mind, whether they are in Cambodia or Australia, France or USA. 
I once met an overseas Cambodian who had returned to visit the temples. ‘Ah, are you Buddhist?’ I asked. ‘Nope, I’m Jewish‘, he grinned.  Exotic for a Khmer, but ordinary to find in the States. Like the person next door.
I don’t mind seeing the world becoming a little smaller, and closer together. I just wish people didn’t have to take their leave of it, to remind me of that fact.

One Response to “Next Door, Continents Away”

  1. Anonymous says:

    You sound a little homesick! We miss you too!

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