Letters

TO THE WOMAN WHO LED US INTO THE MOUTH OF THE JAGUAR

I heard your voice before I saw you. You didn’t ask me if I was OK. You just began a conversation, as if we had been talking for a long time. You took my daughter’s hand, and you told me the entrance to Ek Balam’s temple was just a few steps away.

TO THE WOMAN WHO LED US INTO THE MOUTH OF THE JAGUAR

TO THE WAITER IN BEYOGLU WHO LEFT ME A TIP

Pamuk, to his credit, understood the rarity of his good fortune and set out to do something purposeful with it. After collecting his loot, he conceived of a fictional project that actually, for once, merited the designation of “novel,” in the adjectival sense of the word, as something had never been tried before.

TO THE WAITER IN BEYOGLU WHO LEFT ME A TIP

TO THE WOMAN WHO SPARED ME AN ORANGE

Still, even as early motherhood plunged me into full-body, full-time fear, I wanted my baby to know the wild openness of travel: bus rides deep into the mountains, a tiny village down a dirt road, turkey calls, coffee and beer at shared tables with strangers.

TO THE WOMAN WHO SPARED ME AN ORANGE

TO THE BONG WHO TOOK US TO THE ZOO

Phnom Penh is built on people. Relationships, memory, loyalty—these are the currencies of Cambodia. Most visitors to the Kingdom will come home and tell of “the people.” Living in Phnom Penh, especially as a barang, or expat/foreigner, became a daily maze of friendships, obligations, and favors.

TO THE BONG WHO TOOK US TO THE ZOO

JUST GOT WI-FI: LOVE (BY LAMPLIGHT)

"DEAREST STEFIE, It is night, and I am writing to you by the light of an oil lamp in Na village—which has to be one of the most remarkable places I’ve ever been. We arrived here yesterday afternoon, via a cave about 6 kilometers from the Hinboun River. You almost have to see this valley to believe it..."

JUST GOT WI-FI: LOVE (BY LAMPLIGHT)