Friday, October 26, 2018

Call from Ghost

written & illustrated by Chakriya PHOU

It was not scary for you, but for me it was.
I had a close friend when I was in first year of university. He named Suon.
Suon lived in a village at Takeo province. Friday afternoon, he usually went to his home town and returned to Phnom Penh on Sunday morning.
One Thursday evening, we did assignment at my house. Then he told me that tomorrow he took day off to visit his parents. He would travel in the morning. I did not pay attention much. I just said okay.
On Friday, I went to study as usual. About 11AM, I felt something strange. I did not know how to describe. It was a kind of sad feeling. About 10 minutes, the feeling was gone.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

I Love Myself

written by Chakriya PHOU

When someone says 'love me', I hate them immediately. Why? Because I never believe there is anyone loves me more than I do. Only I, truly love, biggest love and never give up myself. Only ME!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Three Ladybugs

written & illustrated by Chakriya PHOU

There was a large green grass field near the mountain. There were many insects like grasshopper, butterfly, beetle, ladybug etc.
There were three ladybugs like to play on the grass field. One was green, one was yellow and another one was red. Three of them had black spot on their bodies.
One day, the red ladybug said to his two friends, 'We are friend for long time, but we don’t know who is the eldest or youngest.'
'It does not matter,' said the yellow ladybug.
'It is important,' claimed the red ladybug, 'If we know who the eldest is, then the eldest will have responsibility to protect the younger.'
'I agree,' the green ladybug nodded his head. 
'But, how?' stated the yellow ladybug.
The red ladybug thought for a while then he said, 'I have an idea. We have spots on our bodies, so we count those spots. Who has many spots, he will be the eldest.'
The two ladybugs agreed with this idea. They began counting the spot on body of the red ladybug first, then yellow ladybug and green ladybug the last.
The red ladybug had 22 spots. The yellow ladybug had 18 spots. The green ladybug had 23 spots.
The red ladybug and yellow ladybug exclaimed, 'You are the eldest, green ladybug. You have to protect us.' The green ladybug smiled and said, 'Okay.' The two ladybugs added, 'Also, you have to guide us to play.' The green ladybug said, 'Okay, let's.. play hide and seek.'
The red and yellow agreed. And the three ladybugs had fun together.

Saturday, October 20, 2018


written by Chakriya PHOU
photographed by Chakriya PHOU

I was born in California. My parents immigrated to USA.
I could understand Khmer but I could not speak.
My mother usually told me about her homeland, Cambodia. She said Cambodia had a wonderful temple, it was called Angkor Wat. She said a lot about amazing things of Angkor Wat. She made me wanted to see her.
When I was 10 years old, my mother took me to see Angkor Wat. It was my first travel and I was so excited.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Husband Selection Standard

written by Chakriya PHOU

Rita and Meng were friend since they were in high school. They went to same university and same class.
4 years passed, they graduated.
Meng had a feeling on Rita for years. On the graduation day, he decided to confess his love. He walked to Rita and said, 'Rita, I have something to tell you.' Rita smiled and said, 'Yes, please.'
Meng took a breathe then claimed, 'I love you. I want to marry with you.'
He thought Rita would smile or she would be shy and ran away but she was not. Her expression was normal. She seemed not surprise to hear his word. She made Meng curious about her answer.
'Thanks for your love. We are friend.' Rita said.
Meng was upset to hear. He put down his face and exclaimed, 'I know. It is because I am poor.'
'Oh, you know it?' said Rita.
Hearing her sentence, Meng felt not good, 'What does she mean?' He thought. He looked at Rita's face and claimed, 'I never knew you are that kind of woman.'
His word was harsh but Rita smiled and said to him with normal voice, 'I am such kind of woman since I was born. I don't want to marry with guy like you. You don't have anything. You have motor but your mother bought it for you. You have house but it is your parents' house. In Cambodia, when man engages a woman, he has to offer some money to woman's family. If I agreed to marry you, you would not have money to offer to my parents, your parents would give their money instead. Also, you would not have money for wedding ceremony expense, your parents and my parents would be responsible. How could I marry you?'
Meng looked into Ritas' eyes. He understood what she mean. He said to her, 'I will make money and then I will be responsible all to deserve your love.'
'When you make it, then you can come back to me if you want still.'
Rita smiled then she left for her motor.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Man, Jealous Too

written by Chakriya PHOU

Chillis are spicy; women are always jealous...

It is a song sang by Ros Sereysothea and other famous two singers. I like this song. I always display it in the evening. My husband laughs when he hears this song.

I listen to the song and think that woman loves her man truly that’s why she is always jealous when she see her husband close with girls. Man does not understand. He usually blames wife that her mind is narrow. My husband likes to say this to me too.

I live with my husband and a nephew; he is son of my cousin. We got married for two years but we don't have kid yet.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

She Must Run

written by Chakriya PHOU

There is no choice. She has to run. Look!
There is a wolf. It follows her from the forest. She is lost and meets it by accident. It is hungry so it chases her to get her as its lunch. If it is not hungry, it will leave her alone. It is her bad luck to meet the wolf at meal time.
The wolf runs after her without stopping. Also, she runs without stopping. She does not want to end her life here.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Don't go to balcony, in dark

written by Chakriya PHOU

My grand mother used to tell me not to stay at balcony from 6pm till night. I asked her, 'Why?'. She said because there were a lot of them there.
I wondered who were they? I asked her but she did not answer me.
I kept it in my brain. I would find answer by myself.
One day, I decided to find the answer.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Reidge Lake, Peaceful Place in Writer's Heart

written by Chakriya PHOU
video credit to Greg Bem youtube

As a writer, we use feeling. We use energy of heart in order to produce a piece of writing.
Life as a writer, it is like an adventure. Sometimes, we stuck, we don't know what to start, what to end our story. Sometimes, we are pressure because we want to find new topic but our brain sleeps.
There are difficulties in writer's life. Never, we are happy all the time.
When we meet such problem, we need to find a place to comfort and refresh our brain.
It is accident I see a video of Reidge Lake. I don't know where it is but I feel calm when I watch it. The gray color becomes beautiful to me. It is more beautiful than colorful lake. Yes, sometimes, nature is better to be gray. And it is better to have no sound. Sound may bring annoy sometimes.
I am peaceful when I watch the video. I wish I can arrive there one day and see with my own eyes and feel with my own hearts the gray nature.

Pchum Ben 14th Night

written by Chakriya PHOU

Cambodian celebrated Pchum Ben. It was Buddhism's ceremony. Cambodian believed that ancestors would come to receive food, drink and other things in Pchum Ben. There were 15 days.
I did not like the crowd and I was allergic to incense smoke so I didn't go to pagoda during Pchum Ben.
On 14th day of Pchum Ben, I felt unwell. I felt sleepy since the morning. At night, I went to bed early.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Ghost on Bamboo Tree

written by Chakriya PHOU
illustrated by Chakriya PHOU

My family bought a house. It was not in downtown. It was far from Phnom Penh. It was like at county side.
At the corner of road to my house, there were bamboos.
When I drove motor pass it to school, in the morning, the wind blew and I heard strange voice from the bamboo.
I heard the villagers told my mother not to go pass or near the bamboo at noon and around 4pm. They told her that there was ghost there.

Monday, October 8, 2018

3 Smiling

written by Chakriya PHOU
photo by Chakriya PHOU

You knew I loved you so much.You saw my mind. So you liked to make me angry, you liked to make me cry.
You knew I was scared. You knew I depended on you almost everything.
When we visited Bangkok with friends, you did not care about me. You walked away from me. I needed to run after you.
I asked you to take me to visit Asiatique. You pretended you did not hear me. You chat with your friends. You left me alone.
I was so angry. I thought you looked down on me. I would not bear with you anymore.
I went to Asiatique alone. I did not know where it was and how to reach it but I was not fear, I asked people along the way.
I bought ticket. I rode subway train. After that I bought ticket and rode on boat. It was so crowded. I was jostled while I was in queue to ride on boat.
The night was cold but I sweat among the crowd. Even though, I did not give up. I had to reach my goal.
At last, I arrived Asiatique.
I did not know Thai and my English was poor but I did shopping happily.
When I rode the boat back, I was surprised to see you. I had no idea that you followed me.
You came to sit next to me and asked, 'Are you hungry? I want to bring you to have buffet at Baiyoke Sky.'
I smiled because at last you cared about me. 
I smiled because at last I became strong.
I smiled because at last you were fear to lose me when you realized I would not depend on you anymore.

4 Ladies

written by Chakriya PHOU
photographed by Chakriya PHOU

There were four ladies sitting at different tables on one Sky Bar.
Fist lady was crying. Her husband cheated on her.
Second lady was upset. She was fired.
Third lady was sad. Her father was serious sick.
The fourth lady was laughing. She laughed and laughed. All three ladies were so angry with her.
'Why need to laugh strongly like this. Want to show that you are happy,' Four ladies thought.
Yes, if we looked at her expression, she was really happy. She was not cheated because she was single. No one fired her because she was business woman. Her father nor her mother was not sick.
But she got cancer, final stage. Her days were count, she could live only 3 months.
So, what do you think about these ladies?

I Would Be Fine

written by Chakriya PHOU
photographed and designed by Chakriya PHOU

Did you ever think what I would be if you left me?
I could tell you, don't worry, I would be definitely fine. I would still be who I was. I would still eat delicious food. I would still go to work as usual. I would still smile when people asked about you and I would tell them with smile that I and you broke up.
I would still go to have fun with my family and friends on weekend. I would still join my relative's or friend's wedding and wished them happiness. I would still have nice sleep and sweet dream every nights.
Well, if you truly left me and we met one day, by chance, I would say hello but I could not let myself love you again, like I do today.

Note : this story was edited by American writer but I did not remember her name and I have lost contact with her. I would like to express great thank to her for editing my story.

True Word was Bitter

written by Chakriya PHOU
photographed by Chakriya PHOU

     My relative invited me to her wedding.
    I wanted to make-up. I ever heard a salon 'Bella Salon', the women praised that it provided best make up but I forgot to ask about the address and I could not find in google.
     I thought for a while then I called to my friend, 'Hey girl, do you know Bella Salon?'
'I don't know? What's matter?' said my friend.
'I want to do make up. I heard that salon was good in make up,' said I.
'No need. You should go to any salon,' said my friend.
'I want that salon cause I want to be beautiful,' said I.
'I want to tell you that if your had beautiful face, you would be beautiful. If your face looked like a chicken, you were still ugly like chicken,' said my friend.
    Her word was so mean but I thought carefully. She was right.
    After that, I decided to go a salon near my house.

Ghost's Hand on Window

written by Chakriya PHOU

In 1990, I was a teacher. I was assigned to teach children at Battambang. 
There was a building for teachers to stay.
I got room close to stair.
My room had three windows, one was in front, next to the door and other two were on opposite wall.
I went to school from morning till evening. Generally, I arrived room about 6pm. There were other teachers stay in the building. They usually called me to have dinner outside but I did not because I liked to eat in room.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

A Passage

written by Chakriya PHOU
edited by John Christopher Brown
 photographed by Chakriya PHOU

     There was an alleyway near my house. I had never seen anyone walk along it.
     One day I asked my mother, “Where does that alleyway go?” My mother said, “I don’t know.” So I asked her, “Mother, why don’t you know?” And she replied, “Because I have never walked along it. 
     Her answer made me even more curious. “Why have you never walked down it?” I asked. “Because no one walks along it,” she said. “But why is that Mother? Why doesn’t anyone walk along it?” I asked. “Because no one knows where it goes,” she replied.
    Then I told my mother, “I would like to go along that passage.” 
    My mother replied, “No dear. Do not do that. If you enter the passageway, you may not be able to find your way back.”
“But I can walk back exactly the same way!” I said, and I ran to the passageway and entered it. 
    Both sides of the path were empty and I followed it for a long, long time. There seemed to be no end to it. I decided to turn back. It was the end of autumn. 

Saturday, October 6, 2018

If your father and your mother fell into the sea, who would you help first?

written by Chakriya PHOU
edited by Arnold Zable
photographed by Chakriya PHOU

     On Sunday, I met my friend.
     She asked me, 'If your parents and your boyfriend fell into the sea, who you would help first?'
     I could not make a decision because all of them were precious to me.
    On Monday, I went to class. Then I remembered my friend's question. I decided to set it as an exercise for my students before the lesson began. I amended the question, 'If your father and your mother fell into the sea, who would you help first?
     Silence. I said, 'hands up.' Still quiet. I decided to point to one of them. I looked around and I chose the girl who was sitting in the fifth row table on the left. She stood up and said, 'I don't know how to swim. Moreover, even if I did, I would not be able to carry father nor mother from the water. I weigh only 40 kilograms.
     I was surprised. But she was correct. She was truly the number one, outstanding student of the university.
      I bet not one of the students understood and perhaps you don't too. 

I Dreamt