Salvaged from the past, before I had known evil, there was basic ignorance of what was to happen. I played and laughed. My childhood, though brief, was joyful, and the whole village was my family. Now, as an adult, I should know how and want to live, but I don't, for there's evil, sadness, a sense of absence and loss, forgetting, and the constant erasing of memories. Goodness is replaced by greed, based on money and power. The Cambodia I had once knew is gone. All the former regimes took it away. They murdered the goodness, the kindness, the generosity, and the compassion of present Cambodians. Lurking from within each person a kind of competition, this sense of jealousy and envy, this culture of violence, preying on each other's weakness, this goddammit nice Khmer hidding smile is fake and I can feel everyday on the road and in the market, in the songs they sing and in the temples they build all based on heartless money. The community, the village is gone. Now, a new regime based on fear, violence and threat, intimidation that money can create, and the hatred that makes pre-Khmer Rouge conditions completely civilized and human. Everybody else is here to cash in on the Cambodian miseries.