Good night, moon

By Nicole Meadows

We walked out of the Siem Reap Night Market, and were serenaded by an a capello band of tuk tuk drivers and fish massage attendants.

“Oh, I remember you!” said one female to me. We had passed by the night before.

She had a perky ponytail, bangs and shadow, a pink long tank over leggings. She assured me she wasn’t going to make me, her friend, buy a massage, and I believed her.

She asked where I was from. “America,” I said.

“Oh! United States!” she said, and then pinched my cheek. We exchanged names. She lit up at hearing them.

She had a sparkle in her smile – a tiny white rhinestone embedded in her canine. I complimented it. She complimented my lip ring and pinched my cheek again.

She plucked a small white flower from the pool of fish and handed it to me. It was a jasmine flower, mles.

The flowers were on the water because of Vesak Day, celebrated on the first full moon in May. It is a holiday for the life, enlightenment and passing of Buddha. We saw flowers for sale in the market earlier, and a guy had pointed out to us the bright, round moon behind the grey iridescent clouds.

I had been told of the many traits common to Cambodians, sincerity and genuineness included. I received gifts of both tonight – my new friend squeezing my shoulder and wishing us a good night and good day. I know that tomorrow will be great.

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