Sunday, December 23, 2007

Unforgettable Christmas

Christmas is coming and the bells begin to ring. In western countries, the Christmas season liturgically begins on Christmas Eve. It is a time of family gathering and reconciliation. Well, for me, there was a lively remembrance on Christmas Eve.

I remember my first visit to Cambodia in year 2001, around Christmas season. Most people in Cambodia are Buddhists. So this means that Christmas is not really celebrated there. Therefore, it was a simple quiet Christmas for me. But, I was stayed up all night with something thrilling on Christmas Eve and it has marked an unforgettable experience to me. Just before midnight, suddenly several gunshots rang out in quick succession, were heard at somewhere nearby our residence. It was an extremely loud bang, waking up with my heart racing. We were startled by the sound of the gunshots. Each of us dare not to let go of our hold on the blanket and turned our head toward the window to see what had happened. My eyes wild with fear and began tugging frantically at the blanket. At that moment, I miss home a lot.

Well, it was not something excited to remember but something that makes me felt an immense gratitude on how lucky to stay in a peaceful place. This incident never turned me off and my passion for Cambodia stayed for years, though the first visit really took my breath away.

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