This week, Pegman takes us to the Sambor Prei Kuk Temple in Cambodia.
Thursday 4th April 1901
The sun is setting. Naive European as I was – not now, after everything that’s happened – I imagined the evenings would bring some relief, some respite in which energies could be restored. Now, when I lie under my roof of sagging canvas – mosquito nets hung around me like a cocoon – I feel the nights are as hot as the days, hotter even. No respite. Never that here.
It is at night that the forest yearns to overtake the temple, snaking back over the leafy ground and that circle of bare earth cleared by Chanda and the other men. I imagine her – the Forest – sending out her lieutenants – gibbons, snakes, that velvet pawed assassin the tiger – to reclaim what I have stolen.
The men are gone. Have I written that before? I am losing track.
It occurs to me – if the nets are my cocoon, what am I becoming?