The Driver’s Eyes

There’s a look in the eyes, a fragile hope. That somehow, I will have said no to every other moto and tuk tuk driver on the street, no matter how numerous, just to say yes to them. And then when I shake my head and say “No thank you,” even though I smile to try and leech away some of the pain, there is dejection. The entire process is impersonal. At the moment, I am not me, but an agent of the universe sent to once again disappoint them. The brief, passing look of helpless loss passes, and the eyes once again look out for opportunity.

The process repeats countlessly, every day. It would be very easy to become hard, I think. To ignore and stop seeing those eyes. Phnom Penh is not an easy place, and this may be one of this city’s lessons. How to be soft in the face of such hardness. To remember compassion, of not losing touch with one’s humanity.

P.S. There are also some drivers who don’t ask – a few who just sit on there motos and watch the traffic. And in some ways, think that is even worse…

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~ by Samer on August 6, 2007.

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