Sing it with me:
Sheeeee woooooore ginormous elastic huge fantastic yellow polka-dot balloon pants…
First off, we now call Mom-sung Monsoon, because she is EVERYWHERE, swooping in 1000 miles per hour doing things like washing our feet, laying blankets on us when we nap, covering our feet when the AC is on, cutting our food, placing extra utensils in our cereal bowls to help eat… those types of things. She also once ran into our room to get some bug spray, holding a scarf in place on her chest to cover her naked body. Oh, Monsoon.
So. After watching Monsoon run around the compound every day in these lightweight, elastic, knee-length, wide-leg pants in varying patterns, I tried to tell her I liked them. I am constantly hot, and fabric touching me is annoying. These pants appear to just float around her body never actually touching her. When she couldn’t understand me, she got one the girls who sews clothes at the Imprint Project shop to have a look. She and the other girls became excited and said, “Pisei can make! Pisei make for you! Yes!”
Pisei is kind of the leader of the group, CGI staff and seamstress, and watches over the girls at the house. She said the fabric and sewing would cost $5 and she’d bring the magical pants home tomorrow from the shop. She asked what kind of fabric I’d like, and I said, “Whatever you think is cute! I trust you.” I had seen so many prints, and I had no idea what to choose or how to communicate my style. Pisei has awesome style, though, and everything she wears, she has made herself. I was sure that almost anything would have been fine with me.
The next evening when the girls returned home from the shop, they gathered around as Pisei produced the pants: bright yellow polka-dot elastic balloon pants. The girls remained cautious until I tried them on to make sure they fit, and then asked, “You like?”
I mean, they’re lightweight and if I’m ever going to walk around in yellow-polka dot pants, it will be here in Cambodia handmade by my housemate friend. Of course I like. “Yes!” I said, turning a circle for all to admire. “I like!”
They all burst out laughing and Pisei said, “Oh good!” a look of relief on her face. She liked the fabric, but when she got done making them, the other girls wore them around the shop calling each other crazy. With MY homemade yellow polka-dot pants.
No. I mean, NO! Not crazy at all. (Right?)
Later, Pisei showed me a picture of the dress she’d made Anna, one of the other interns, and it was adorable. I had no idea normal clothing was an option. Pisei said, “You like the dress? It’s the same one I am wearing.”
Yes! I loved the dress. Pisei said she could go to the market today, find some fabric, and make the dress on Monday at the shop. I looked at the dress on Pisei and the intern, Anna, who were both tiny, and tried to show Pisei my food baby, Crystal. She said, “I understand, I understand! No problem. I am small M. You are big L.”
Yes, that’s me. I am big L, and on Monday I may have a cute dress, or I may have a yellow polka-dot dress. Either way, you will soon notice me in all the team pics as the one in the bright yellow polka-dot pants, size big L.