Berlin Phnom Penh

Raffaela Rondini

For weeks here in Berlin we have been experiencing a South-East Asian climate, and I wonder if the typical Khmer smile will soon appear on all our faces.

During the recent storms I have observed streams of barefoot people coming out of the U-Bahn, merrily running to take shelter, surprised and incredulous at the violence of these storms that are something to talk about.

I can already imagine the whole country being transformed like this, with an expression of joy, that accepts every downpour with unperturbed merriness, spreading out from the capital city.

Instead of the Tiergarten I see bright green rice paddies ready for harvesting; happy monks in orange robes strolling along the Unter den Linden asking for alms at the outdoor café tables; a few cows will placidly graze at the Alexanderplatz and everything will be simpler – or perhaps not – like at Potsdamer Platz when they will remove the traffic lights, and we will all be lined up cheerfully blowing our horns to show we are there, and as we are blocked in the traffic jam we will roll down our windows using the handle, and chat together, happily maintaining eye contact.

And we will all be young, very young and poor, and with the candid hope of having a future ahead of us.

( Translated by Thomas Dana Lloyd )

2 years ago