I Am Pineapple Retainers

I Am peanut sauce and chicken satay, a thousand spring rolls, curry, and 50-cent Angkor beer through a straw. I am cold, iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk, mango smoothies and fresh pineapple slices turned into pretend retainers for the cheap laugh. Which reminds me: I am brownie-on-tooth girl to at least a dozen college friends.

I Am all up in the equator and 100 degrees hot (wink!). I am the Indochina time zone, but my internal clock is somewhere in Europe. I am a genocide memorial when I thought my heart could not hold any more genocide, but then it opened a little wider. I am cross-legged on a bamboo train platform reeling through a Cambodian countryside under an overcast sunset, wind and bugs in my face, the biggest bottle of cold water in my lap.

I Am a 9-year-old girl’s little hand squeezed into mine as we tour her village brick factory. I am that little girl’s grandmother’s $3 scarf and a little baby’s toothless smile. I am step-sis to a birthday girl, and while I’m at it, step-sis to FOUR of the best step-sibs ever made (holla!). I am Michael Jackson, Enya & Celine Dion who provided the backdrop to three out four meals with us at the Kiwi Bakery.

I Am “Mind your head!” and “Can I have a dollar?” and “You must tip the driver!” I am “You want tuk-tuk?”, YOLOP (You only live once in Phnom Penh), “Never settle for less than butterflies” and “The Blackberry did it.”

WHO ARE YOU? Food, places, people, and words spoken into your life… Go!


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