Having sacked Sok yesterday and sent the redoubtable Mr Bun an email, swum, drunk, showered and grown impatient, I went in search of Mr Bun and found the poor man emerging from his afternoon bath! Poor love. At least he was dressed.
Reunited we made a plan for tomorrow. Then I lamented aloud that I needed a book so he drove me to a bookshop – 6 secondhand books later I asked him about traditional shadow puppets. So where am I now? At a buffet ($12 all you can eat) with beer (bottle for $3) in a front row seat for shadow puppets! Well done Mr Bun!
The tension is building ladies and gentlemen, but so far I am the only patron present. I’ve seen the stage constructed. I’ve seen the electricity connected – mind the water feature with that extension cord! I’ve seen a million insects make their stage debut. I’ve finished my beer! The band is now playing a little tune some of you know well – Tiu Ning. And so with tension aplenty but precious little action I am eating, waving for another beer and marinating myself in DDT.
Apart from the orchestra and bugs I remain eerily alone. I did shower, but I guess the food and a bus load of Chinese are inside.
I see actors! I see puppets (carefully and intricately cut from dried cow hide apparently.) I remain an audience of one!
And so I remained! The play was great, the puppets works of art. The audience – just me and half a dozen local guides and drivers who snuck in up the back, their clients feeding their faces in air conditioned luxury inside! Thankfully the unofficial audience understood the Khmer dialogue and laughed at the good bits – I politely joined in 🙂 A fun night was had by all. Mr Bun thought it was hilarious and got a free feed for taking me so there’s my good deed of the day.
So that’s it, off to bed now before we head to Tonle Sap Lake tomorrow morning. And I have books to read!!!