Where I’ve been, what I’m up to and why my posts might get a bit weird
So where has the hostess of The Velvet Café been lately? Why isn’t she here serving some drinks and random thoughts about movies? What’s she up to?
Well, I could tell you about real life issues such as a huge workload before Christmas, and the infections that followed after (don’t they always)? But there’s a third reason for my absence.
A couple of weeks ago I was persuaded by one of my daughters to go for a vacation with her this winter, fleeing the cold and darkness in Northern Europe. “Anywhere in Asia except for Thailand. Make your pick!” she said
So how would I decide where to go? Not having any globe to randomly spin, I did something along those lines: I browsed the webs a bit, checked out the prices and picked our destination more or less on a whim. We would go to Cambodia.
I didn’t know a lot about the country, apart from some basic recollections about the genocide under the Khmer Rouge regime in the 70s. And I had very little idea about what the country was up for today. So I downloaded a couple of books and once I started to read them, I couldn’t stop
For the last couple of weeks I’ve been completely absorbed by the story of Cambodia, which sadly isn’t a pretty one. Anyone who has seen The Killing Fields will remember. (And yes, I’ve revisited that movie too, and I will probably write about it, once I’ve gotten a ton of unwritten 2013 reviews out of the way.)
One of the books I read was film related and therefore deserves a special mentioning at this blog. It’s Survival in the Killing Fields, written by Haing S Ngor, who won the 1985 Academy Award for best supporting actor for his performance in The Killing Fields. Ngor was a refugee from Cambodia and the book describes his experiences and how he miraculously survived throughout the years of terror, unlike most of his family and friends. It’s a tough read, a great deal tougher than the movie was. I suppose the reality was a little too much to expect an audience to cope with, unless you aimed for a small extreme horror/slash movie audience.
The reading of this book and several others has put me in a strange, feverish mindset. The thought about Cambodia – how bad it has been and how bad it still is for the majority of the population at this time – is hard to knock out of my mind and it makes me associate in a way I wouldn’t have done before those travel plans came up.
For instance when I watched 12 Years a Slave the other day, and Solomon had to hide the fact that he could read and write in order not to get killed, I couldn’t refrain from exclaiming to myself (silently inside my head), “Well, wasn’t that exactly like in Cambodia!”
hope to get back to blogging more frequently in the time leading up to my journey (on February 18). I’ve got a lot of thoughts about recent movies that need an outlet. I will try to not let my current Cambodia oriented state of mind influence my reviews too much, but I might slip once in a while, making references and connections that you wouldn’t have thought of in the first place. And if this happens, you’ll know why. I’m having a fever.