Parking Fee

written & illustrated by Chakriya PHOU

It was evening.
Mina drove car to mall. She did not want to park inside so she asked guard-man free spot at outside parking lot. The guard said, 'Yes, there is.' Then he led her to that parking.
After, Mina said to the guard, 'How long can I park here?'
The guard looked at his watch and claimed, 'No longer than 9 PM.'
Mina nodded. Then she went into the mall.
At 8:30 PM, she left mall for her car.
The guard saw her. He ran to her.
Mina asked about parking price at the same time she opened door, 'How many?'
And the guard said, 'It's up to you.'
Mina did not get into car yet. She thought for a moment then opened her purse and took money and gave to him.
The guard accepted money. His face was not happy. He took it and put it into his pocket.
Mina did not notice his face. She went into car, closed door, started machine and drove out.
The guard walked back to his seat. He was upset. He said,  'She parked more than 3 hours, but gave only 1,000 Riels.'
Well, that guard man does not look carefully and also because of light - outside mall at parking lot - is not brightening enough, plus new currency design is similar; therefore, he mistakes it is one thousand riels, but actually it is five thousand riels.

Too Late

 written & photographed by Chakriya PHOU

A mother is giving instruction to her daughter.

Mother : Sweet heart, you are girl. You have to take care of your body. Don't let anyone touch you.
Daughter : It's too late, mum. Someone touched me.
Mother : Tell me. I will go to report.
Daughter : You cannot report because I was who gave order. Not only touch but also press and squeeze.
Mother : My god. Tell me now who is he.
Daughter : It's not he. It's she. She is staff at massage and spa. I went to her to massage for me. She touched, she pressed and she squeezed my whole body. My body was painful but after that it is good. Hmm..just talk about it, I feel I want to ask her to massage.
Mother : !!!

Wish Of Porcupine

written by Chakriya PHOU

There was a god. He stayed in heaven.
One day, he looked from his palace and saw animals living on earth were difficult. He felt sorry for them. He wanted to help them but he could not show himself to them.
The god thought for a while then he decided to go into animals' dreams and asked them what they wanted and he made them accomplish.
He went from one to one.
Then it was turn of porcupine. 
The god came into its dream and asked, 'Now, what do you wish for?'
The porcupine, nervously, said, 'I don't dare to say for my wish need you to do with your own hands.'
The god smiled and said to it, 'Don't be scared. Say it and I will do for you.'
Then the porcupine - shy - claimed that, 'I want you to massage body for me.'
The god opened big eyes and had frozen.

What We Don't Notice

written by Chakriya PHOU

I knew one person. He was motordub. 
In Cambodia, we call person gives motor driving service motordub and people from abroad call motor taxi.
His name was Chung.
I usually called him when I - lazy to drive car - wanted to go somewhere.
One day, I called him to take me to my aunt's house.
He drove me.
I noticed he was unhappy. I could not bear and hurriedly asked him.
'What's matter?'
'I just came back from my hometown at countryside yesterday.' He replied me.
'I met with old people in my village. When I come back to Phnom Penh, I feel pity old people here.'
'I don't understand.'
'Well, you know.. old people in rural does not have expensive car, but they can walk far or ride bicycle even they are ages. Different from old people living in city. I see most of them have expensive car. But when they got off car, they cannot walk, they need people to carry them. And they are younger than old people in my village.'
'You are unhappy because of this?'
'Yes. I pity them. They live in fancy world, but actually they don't enjoy it.'
Well, I never noticed until he said it.
Me too. I was just about 30 years old, but I was like 60 years old. I often forgot. I often got confused. I often got sick, especially headache - and I was insomnia. My waists were ache, also my knees and my ankles.
I probably had money much more than people in rural, but what they got, health, was far away from my hand.
The motor reached my aunt's house. I got off and paid him.
When I was about to go in, my niece came out to hug me. I hugged her back and asked, 'Where is your grandma?'
'She is inside,' said my niece. 'She is sick.'
I hurriedly went in to see her.

After Years

written & illustrated by Chakriya PHOU It had been years that I decided to build up my cave and stay there. It was because I was scared ...