Without words to describe the day, I present more photos from Sung. These were taken during our visit with Prince, who lives with his mother and father in the hills just a few km higher in altitude than the site where I hiked earlier in the week. Prince, a bellhop at Cardamom County, was raised on a 5-acre cardamom and pepper plantation. Although I had walked through other plantations while here, this was the first time I was able to actually look around and witness the lifestyle of a planter and his family.
There was a glut of sensory detail so the smells and sounds be-damned; the pictures will have to do. Note, however, that the cicadas were in full force, and that there was an incessantly barking dog (named Tiger); and that the cows bellowed, not so much in ‘moos’ but in rounder ‘mows;’ and that the busker (the man pictured below) and his little sister sang out of tune and without rhythm; and that the tapioca and cardamom and jack fruit and pepper go on for acre after acre; and that Prince continuously warned us to be careful while walking on the slippery dirt road (‘slowly, slowly’) always in the same cadence and tone, the ‘oh’ in ‘slow’ every-so-slightly drawn out and the first ‘l’ slightly rolled. None of this the pictures can say. Nor can they quite capture what it’s like to be in a cardamom field where the stalks have grown ten feet high (like being in a cardamom fantasy-jungle), nor how steep is the hill that Prince and his family climb everyday after getting off the bus. And of course, what perhaps gave me the greatest pleasure: Prince’s brothers are named Rince and Rinso. That is, they are together Prince, Rince, and Rinso. You just can’t make that up.