Till We Have Faces
Set in perfect unity in a garden lush with trees pleasant to the sight and good for food, a paradise watered with streams of life, our parents together grasped at the authority of their Creator and became naked and barefaced (Genesis 3).
Barefaced, Noah's descendants, in harmonious unity, grasped again at the throne of their Saviour and were scattered (Genesis 11).
Barefaced, Korah and the leaders of the people whom God saved assembled themselves together against God and his prophet Moses (Numbers 16).
Barefaced, the rulers and elders and teachers of God's nation gathered against God's Son and his apostles (Acts 4), yet he died not just for the Jewish nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one (John 11).
Barefaced, we are their descendants who abuse even the remnant blessings of community to plot against the LORD and against his Anointed, who deceitfully preach another gospel to achieve a horrific simulacra of unity,...
...till we have faces that see our nakedness, we will never see the face of God nor stand with that great multitude that no one can number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, before the throne and before the Lamb and worship him forever (Revelation 7).
Plus ça change...
...street noise, car horns, large tour buses, rampant construction, loudspeakers blaring from shops, tuk-tuk? tuk-tuk? touts, Russian market rip-offs, US$120,000 2010 Lexus cans, Ferraris, Hummers, bag-snatching moto thieves, gunfights...
...plus c'est la même chose
Wikitravel - Phnom Penh
Mobile phones and wifi are as rampant as tuk-tuk touts outside Tuol Sleng. Grab a local SIM card at the airport from Hello. Top-up with phone cards at random streetside places in the city. Unlimited mobile broadband from US$1 a day.
Comme à la Maison - French pastries for breakfast and late-night thin-crust pizza.
The Shop - coffee and cake break along Street 240. (Friends/family/fools loans for the proclamation trust fund.)
Boddhi Tree - good for a drink after Tuol Sleng, not so good for bites of the centipede variety.
Frizz - farang-friendly farang-priced Cambodian fare.
Bai Thong - starched white table-cloth French-IndoChinese, Richard Gillet - chef manager, 100-102 Sothearos Boulevard, Phnom Penh, email@example.com.
Friends the Restaurant - tasty food, clean iced drinks, a Mith Samlanh venture run by "former street youth" and their teachers, 215 Street 13, firstname.lastname@example.org.(Redeeming the time shortened by diabetes or lengthened by singlehood.)
Romdeng - another Friends International Mith Samlanh resto but with wifi and deep-fried tarantula and stir-fried red tree ants with beef and holy basil on the menu, 74 Street 174, Phnom Penh.
Riverhouse - happy hour daiquiris on Sisowath Quay. (Teary laughter while waiting for stranded friends.)
Goldie Guesthouse - opposite Khmer Suri. Hot water, airconditioning, telly, wifi. Try Room 8. Toilet in Room 7 packed up. Bed in Room 4 like hardboard. (Post-breakfast lounge-in with epilogue of Killing Fields, Living Fields.)
Spa Bliss, 29 Street 240, Phnom Penh, email@example.com.
Scene of recovering Cambodian artistry. Most artists were wiped out by the Khmer Rouge.
Expat Luxe Guide shopping
Bliss - feminine prints, feather-weight dresses, quilts, accessories, pillows, darling kiddy bloomers
Mekong Quilts - work of needy village women
Artisans d' Angkor - attempt by Chantiers-Écoles de formation professionnelle to train disadvantaged young people with little formal education, living for the most part in rural areas, and offer them a job entry program. Again, any skill that may have been handed down from Angkor artists perished under Pol Pot.
Confirel - palm sugar and Cambodian kampot black pepper. The cultivation techniques were also lost during the international community-complicit genocidal attempt to unify and purify a nation.