T’invidio turista che arrivi Arrivederci Siem Reap, Goodbye, Au Revoir…
David Coleman and I arrived in Siem Reap more or less the very same week 12 years ago. Nobody else can possibly know the depth of what he and I have seen, nor would I even expect them to care about this desperate hive that has become our home.
More than once today, the mere thought of him nearly knocked me off my game, and I avoided prolonged eye contact with my friend simply so I could maintain “Mr. Jones” long enough to get through the day.
David leads by a heroic example of uncompromising dedication and integrity which I fear has become incompatible with the far more forceful & encouraged status quo of docility, ignorance, and arrogance by which all of us in Cambodia are bombarded.
With typical effortlessness, David paid me the deepest compliment when reflecting on the era we shared, “Many people can teach; but very few can change lives.”
There is no turning back, but that is hardly to say Mr. Coleman and Mr. Jones will no longer keep in touch.
David & I have shared an era, and nothing can erase that. Thank gay gods for technology. We will always be in touch.