Art, Cambodia, Expat, Personal, Phnom Penh, Travel, United States

Repost: Natalie Polson, Khmer American, returns to her roots to unveil SEEN.

natalie-polson

This article was featured on Anvaya, a network that aims to:

  1. Gather all the returnees within a social and professional effective network
  2. Support and welcome the Overseas Cambodians in their efforts to return
  3. Inform the Overseas Cambodians on business, social and employment opportunities in Cambodia
  4. Develop opportunities for Overseas Cambodians to return from abroad, especially young professionals
  5. Develop links between Cambodia and its diaspora

“When first meeting Natalie Polson, one senses a feeling of strength and passion underneath her calm, quiet, and seemingly shy exterior. When Natalie and I first began our partnership in March of this year, we both entered into it knowing little about each other except from that personal blogs, scattered emails, and a few meetings. Over time, a bond and friendship based on values, dreams, and hopes developed- the idea that the beauty, history, and intricacies of Cambodia’s arts can be shared with those around us and beyond. Now have worked together for roughly ten months- our insights, about Cambodia and each other have only grown- and I had a chance to sit down with Natalie for a brief yet intriguing chapter by chapter walk through her history, both in and away from Cambodia.

Natalie first ventured to the Kingdom of Wonder in 2002 while vacationing with family.  Her initial impressions of Phnom Penh was that of alluring exoticism, foreignness, and feeling a certain sense of inaccessibility to the surroundings and people due to the language gap. Natalie reminisces, “At the time, Cambodia felt very much like a movie set. It felt like a dream…surreal. It’s like I was a member of an audience, invited to come onto the stage and explore the scene.” The landscape at times, reminded her of the kind of setting that Gaugin would have captured in his paintings, that of a bright red ochre dust that settled on the countryside, the saffron coloration of the monks robes contrasted with the deep emerald hues of forested canopies.”

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Cambodia, Expat, Personal, Phnom Penh

Writer’s Blockade.

haters gonna hate

To scarcely brush the surface of current political activities in Cambodia: there has been civil unrest, scare and pain tactics from both sides of political parties, army trucks with soldiers in full SWAT gear hanging on corners, widespread fear among locals and some expats, and harrowing suffering for the people of Cambodia. Not all is negative, during the time since the elections, bonds have been formed that haven’t been seen for decades and the youth, individuals aged  30 or under making up roughly 70 percent of the population- have started to push out of their shells, taking risks- sometimes unwarranted, and speaking to be heard and acting to be acknowledged. During what was supposed to be a peaceful protest last week on the Riverside in Phnom Penh, barbed wire barricades and physically harmful methods were used against the crowd. Not being in the midst of the scenes physically myself or having read the full amount of coverage, I can’t say what exactly started the violence, how things escalated, or when. What I do know is that there has been a haze of unease over the city for the past week. Last night, “police and thugs dressed in civilian clothes descended on a peaceful vigil at Wat Phnom last night, and set upon the roughly 20 protesters with slingshots, batons and electrics prods.” (Source: The Phnom Penh Post) A total of eleven were injured in the brawl and human right workers and journalists among the crowds were injured from marbles, some the size of golf balls and electric prods.

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Cambodia, Personal, Phnom Penh, Travel, United States

November 21, 2012. Write On.

I haven’t submitted an actual writing entry since, well, it’s looking like November 11th. How impressive.

I don’t want MISCHKE BUSINESS to turn entirely into a photo blog and I really do enjoy take such pleasure in journaling via the internet, that’s really all it can be considered after assessing my writing skills and for now, that will be enough to satiate me. Eventually I’ll get either the drive, passion, determination, whatever it is that makes a dedicated blogger/writer.

I have been a bit tied up writing four articles for WUPP! Magazine’s December issue, which is actually an enjoyable task, but in the long haul they’re short pieces and I have just been slacking on tapping into my personal thoughts and getting them on paper (or Text Edit) as much as I’d like and throwing them onto WordPress. I’ll make sure to post the WUPP! articles once the December publication is released, but until then I’ll continue to jot notes to myself in hopes that I’ll remember to fully get them all out in writing at some point.

I have met a lot of writers since living here. And I mean a lot. There’s even a Mexican place, Cantina on Sisowath, where they all go on Thursday nights according to various sources. How precious; and I say that without sarcasm, like an illuminati of pencil biters and note jotters. How lovely to meet up with fellow journalists, writers, and likeminded thinkers on your strange schedule (they don’t work Fridays-Saturdays if at all depending on their freelance status) and talk shop and go over the week or just get toasted; I don’t know. I have so much admiration that these individuals could take something they genuinely are passionate about, or at least enjoy, and make careers out of it, live their lives on it. Whether writing articles for the city’s most popular lifestyle publication, freelancing for VICE magazine or on the journalism team at a well known travel magazine, I admire them with (hopefully) subtle amazement. I feel the same way even chatting with friends and acquaintances who keep up on blogging, whether at home in the states or here in Phnom Penh. It’s impressive that they continue to take the time to update daily even though they’re not being paid, sometimes feel like they have a small reader base (welcome to my life), and sometimes bare parts of their souls to the entire world that some people can’t even admit to themselves.

I find such enjoyment in hearing about the deadlines, the editing, the stress of finding a good story or even after finding said story creating a piece that will convey to readers the actual feelings the author is attempting to express. That’s probably a bit selfish on my part, taking such pleasure in their frustration, but I think part of us both know that’s all a bit of the appeal; why they do what they do. I can’t be sure and obviously its different for each individual, but writers in Phnom Penh, really writers anywhere: I applaud you.

More than that, I regard you at the utmost highest.

Here are a couple bloggers and/or friends that I enjoy keeping up on:

Giacomo Butte

Adam Isaac Jackson

Lina Goldberg

Jesse Morrow

Dear Lady Expat

Michelle Anderson 

Daniel Otis

Le Mom (Sheila Mischke)

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Cambodia, Fashion, Food, Music, Phnom Penh, Travel

Miss Gemma and I at Discover Magazine’s Vol. 2 Launch @ The Exchange

A lovely evening at The Exchange, full of fantastic people celebrating the second yearly volume of Discover: The Essence of Cambodia, a magazine highlighting the beauty and fantastic things about Cambodia and the endless things to do along with it’s rich history and culture.

Honored to be there.

Photographer: Nick Sells

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