Dear Cambodia … It’s not you, It’s me.

Človek potuje po svetu, da bi našel to, kar potrebuje, in se vrača domov, da to najde.

Slovesa so vedno težka. Čas je, da grem. Ampak vedi …

IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S ME.

No, mogoče je malo krivde tudi na tebi. Zaradi tebe sem se spremenila. Drugače gledam na svet okrog sebe. Skoraj dve leti nazaj si me sprejela z odprtimi rokami. Nisem pričakovala, da bo trajalo tako dolgo, kot je. Postala si moj dom. Spremenila si moje plane. Več kot le enkrat. S teboj sem doživela nekaj najlepših trenutkov v mojem življenju.

Hvaležna za vse, kar si mi dala, ti sporočam …

IT’S OVER.

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Enkrat sem že odšla. Nazaj domov. Ampak sem vedno vedela, da se bom kmalu vrnila k tebi in da bo letalska karta znova kmalu v mojem žepu. Sedaj je drugače. Tokrat odhajam brez planov o vrnitvi, brez želje po prihodu nazaj. Občutki so mešani. Vesela, ker odhajam domov in ob enem žalostna, ker te zapuščam.

Naj ti povem zakaj …

Pokazala si mi vso svojo lepoto in čare. Mistične templje v Siem Reapu, slapove in gore v Mondulkiriju, neskončne peščene plaže na Koh Rongu, dih jemajoče sončne vzhode in zahode … in najboljši del vsega – ljudje. Z nasmehi, ki nikoli ne izginejo z obraza. Ljudje, ki bi zame naredili vse. Oni, ki so mi dovolili, da sem postala del njihove skupnosti. Oni, ki so me spravili v dobro voljo vsakič, ko sem to potrebovala. Oni, ki so postali veliko več kot le prijatelji. Ljudje, ki nimajo ničesar, a ti hočejo dati vse na svetu.

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Riža se bom nekaj časa izogibala. Vsakič se bom spomnila na našo ‘mamo’, ki mi je več čas govorila ”njam bai”, jej riž. Vsak dan. Za zajtrk, kosilo in večerjo. Obroki, postreženi na tleh. Hrana na sredi, mi pa okrog nje, posedeni po turško. Povabila nisem nikoli zavrnila. No ja, razen ko so bili na meniju polži, bizoni ali psi. Odnos do živali, mačk in psov, je že druga zgodba. Ena od stvari, ki sem jo pri tebi sovražila. Upam, da se enkrat tudi to spremeni.

Ne dolgo nazaj si preživljala hude čase. Vojna, v najhujši možni obliki. Nihče te ni napadel, borila si se sama s seboj. Polja smrti v Phnom Penhu še vedno pričajo o tem, kako je bilo. Še vedno se za nasmehi ljudi skrivajo temačne zgodbe iz preteklosti. Takrat sem se zavedla, kakšno srečo imam. Moj dom je varen, moje življenje zavidanja vredno. Začela sem ceniti stvari, ki jih prej nisem. Malenkosti v življenju, ki jih imamo za samoumevne. Stopila sem ven iz škatlice udobja in odkrila nov svet.

It made me realise I had no right to ever feel like I was missing out on something.

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Ne morem verjeti, kako blizu sva si. Postala si del mene. Ker me včasih nisi razumela, sem se naučila tvojega jezika. Ne vsega, a dovolj, da vedno razumem in vem kaj hočeš. Cumripsua, soksabai te? Soksabai, knjom chmu Nika, som klang mui tiet, som kt luy muy, kdau, col mui, njam bai, bai cha, knjom njam hai hai, bong, oun, somlain, sonsga, ritrei suasdei, leehai, oukun chran. In še in še. Sprašujem sem, s čim sem si zaslužila, da si z menoj delila vse te prelepe trenutke.

V mojem srcu boš vedno imela posebno mesto. Ko sem živela na Koh Rongu nisem bila le turistka, ampak sem postala del družine, ena izmed domačinov. In vedno sem bila žalostna, ko sem videla, kako te turizem uničuje. Svetlo modro morje je postalo rumeno zelene barve, bele neskončne peščene plaže so izginile, mivka ne škripa več med prsti na nogah. Namesto tega pa buldožerji, novi hoteli, gradbišča. Ne pusti bogatašem, da iz tebe naredijo drugo Tajsko. Prosim, pazi nase in ostani takšna kot si.

So please believe me. It really is not you, it truly is all me.

Na svet sem začela gledati skozi tvoje oči. Zaradi tebe sem bolje spoznala sebe. Ničesar ne obžalujem. Če bi začela naštevati vse lepe trenutke iz osmih mesecev najine skupne poti, ne bi bilo konca. Preblisk v glavi. Sprememba. Ne vem točno, kaj se je zgodilo. Pri sebi sem začutila, da je čas, da se vrnem nazaj v realnost.

Mogoče nekateri ne boste razumeli. ‘Zakaj bi zapustila otok, na katerem je tvoj največji problem ta, da so tvoje noge vedno od mivke?’ ‘Zakaj bi odšla stran od brezskrbnega življenja v raju?’ Zame je odgovor preprost. Pogrešam udobje domačega življenja. Lahko naštejem le nekaj stvari iz vsakdana, ki so tu zelo drugačne kot doma. Le mrzla voda pod tušem, komarji vsepovsod, umivanje zob s steklenico vode, glasna glasba do dveh ponoči vsako noč, neizmerna vročina, prekomerne količine riža. Včasih je naporno. Pogrešam ležanje na kavču pred TVjem, tišino pred spanjem, pogovarjanje po naše, se pokriti z odejo čez noč, nedeljska kosila, topel tuš in svojo kopalnico, udobje, ki ga nudi le dom,vonj po sveže opranih oblačilih, klepet ob kavi, prijatelje, družino, razvajene mačke.

 I don’t want to sound ungrateful but I don’t want to lie. I’m calling time out.

Potrebujem premor. Iz pravljice nazaj v realnost. Se posvetiti delu, ne tebi. Stanje na mojem bančnem računu ni rožnato, tudi če si veliko cenejša kot Slovenija. Ker se k tebi nisem vrnila, ker je tu ceneje, ampak ker sem s teboj srečna. Vedno boš imela posebno mesto v mojem srcu. Prepotovala sem že kar nekaj sveta, a ti boš vedno moja najljubša. Verjetno bom potrebovala kar nekaj časa, da se vrnem nazaj na ustaljene tire. Da preneham ves čas razmišlati o tebi. Polna pričakovanj in z nasmehom na obrazu prihajam domov. Pozabila te ne bom nikoli. In ko bo čas pravi, se vrnem nazaj. Do takrat pa …

Kampuchea, oukun chran!

Vse zgodbe enkrat dobijo svoj zaključek.

In tale je najin.

Z ljubeznijo, vedno tvoja,

NIKA

English version down below 🙂

Goodbyes are always hard. But It’s time for me to go. But know that …

It’s not you, It’s me.

Well, maybe It’s a little bit your fault too. You changed me. I look on the world different now. Two years ago you welcomed me with opened arms. I did not expect it would last so long. You became my home. You changed my plans. Not just once. There I have spent some of the best moments in my life.

Grateful for all you have given me, I have to let you know … It’s over.

I already left once before. Went back home. But that time I knew I will come back soon. This time I have no plans about coming back. I don’t want to. There are so many mixed feelings inside me. I am happy to go back home but so sad at the same time for leaving you.

Let me tell you why …

You showed me all your beauty and charm. Mistical tempels in Siem Reap, waterfalls and mountains in Mondulkiri, endless white sand beached on Koh Rong, breath taking sunrises and sunsets … but the most important were the people I met. People with smiles on there faces at all times. People who would do anything for me. Them who let me be the part of their community. Them who made me happy every time I needed it. Them who bacame much more than friends. People who don’t have anything but would still give you everything they have.

I won’t be eating rice for a while. Every day our ‘mama’ at Bunna’s asked me to ‘njam bai’, eat rice. For breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meals, served on floor. Food in the middle and us sitting around it.When they invited me I never said no. Well, just when snails, buffalos or dogs were on the menu. How you treat dogs and cats is another story. I hated it. I hope ona day that changes as well.

Not long ago you went through some tough times. War, in the worst way. No one attacked you, you fight with yourself. Killing fields in Phnom Penh are still a living proof of what happened. There are sad stories behind the smiles on the faces in Cambodia. That time I realized how lucky i am. My home is safe, my life back home is good. Now I know how to appriciate little things in life we take for granted. I took a step out of my box of comfort and discovered a whole new world.

It made me realise I had no right to ever feel like I was missing out on something.

I can not believe how close we became. You are now a part of me. Sometimes I did not understand you. That’s why I learned your language. Not all of it, but enough for me to understand what you want. Cumripsua, soksabai te? Soksabai, knjom chmu Nika, som klang mui tiet, som kt luy muy, kdau, col mui, njam bai, bai cha, knjom njam hai hai, bong, oun, somlain, songsa, ritrej suasdej, leehai, oukun chran. And more and more. I wonder how I deserved all this.

You will always have a special place in my heart. When I was living on Koh Rong I was more than a tourist. I was a part of the family, a local. And it always made me sad when I saw what mass tourism is doing to you.Blue sea became yellow, sand beaches are gone. Instead of that there are trucks, new hotels, building sites. Don’t let the rich people ruin you. Please take care and stay the same as you are.

So pleae believe me. It really is not you, it truly is all me.

I started to look at world through your eyes. I learned a lot about myself too. I don’t regret anything. If I would start writing about beautiful moments spent with you, I could write forever. But then something happened. And I felt in my heart that is time for me to go home. Go back to real life.

Maybe some of you won’t understand why I want to leave. ‘Why would you leave a place where the biggest problem you have are sandy feet?’ ‘Why would you leave the paradise?’ But for me the answer is simple. I miss the cosiness of my house back home. Some things are different here than back home. Cold water in the shower, mosquitoes everywhere, washing teeth with a bottle of water, loud music every night in your room, heat, unbearable amounts of rice. It can be hard sometimes. I miss lying on the sofa watching TV, relaxing in my room, talking in slovenian, warm blankets, Sunday lunches, hot shower, nice smelling clean clothes, chatting and drinking coffee, friends, family, my cats.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful but I don’t want to lie. I’m calling time out.

I need a break. From paradise back to real life. Focus on work, not you. The balance on my bank account is not good, even though you are much cheaper than Slovenia. But I didn’t come back because you are cheaper, I came back because you make me happy. You will always have a special place in my heart. I travelled many countires already, but you will always be my favourite. I will need some time to get back to my normal life. To stop thinking about you. Full of expectations and with a smile on my face I am on my way home. But I will never forget you. And when the time is right I will be back … But until then…

Kampuchea, oukun chran!

All good stories have an ending.

And this is ours.

With love, forever yours.

Nika

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