Today I went back to the Angkor temple complex, intending to make watercolors, but it started pelting rain about ninety minutes after I arrived. In Cambodia, the warning for a rainstorm is unambiguous: a cool breeze that eddies around your ankles. When it arrives, the rain is only about five minutes behind, and so you need to pack up and retreat inside right away. I didn’t. I sheltered in one of the doorways, managing to keep only my watercolor pad from being drenched, and then asked my tuk-tuk driver to take me back into town.
Rain like this slows down the day, and so I saw tableaus from my seat instead of motion: three men playing cards, two boys wiping off sealed ponchos in a drenched basket, a tiny boy sitting splay-legged on a table over a square container of noodles, angling his chopsticks flat across his palm to lift one stray golden thread back to his mouth.