One of my best friends as a child is Cambodian. My mother still loves to laugh at the story. I came home from First Grade exclaiming my excitement regarding a exotic new classmate. "Mom, there's a girl in my class from Canada!" She feigns interest, I guess because she thinks Canadians aren't that interesting. Then at the next PTO meeting I grab her hand and pull her behind me to meet my new exotic friend. Not Canadian, Cambodian. Oh my mother loves to laugh about that. I think she even told my friends mother that I said they were Canadian. Oh mothers laughing at the folly of their children.
That girl and I enjoyed a wonderful friendship over many years. Yet, I never asked about their beginnings, I never asked about their rituals, I never asked anything. I regret that.
I've often wondered what memories she and her elder siblings and her parents left behind. Only, they are never really left behind, are they?
Her house always smelled of spices and wonder and must. I can say her name but am never sure I'm spelling it correctly.
These are the histories that we can never fit ourselves, as Americans, into. I'm afraid to read about her people's past. She's grown up and is a successful woman with a lovely family. I want to know what happened that forced her parents to leave their birth home.
Am I a gawker?