Every night Nan and a small group of other men and women in their forties and fifties congregate around the white board, which we all refer to as “le tableau” in French, and study by the light of a single naked bulb.
Together we discover the world. We teach and learn Khmer (Cambodian), French, and English. We speak about our histories, our cultures, science, art, poetry, war, love, all the time taking turns scribbling furiously and drawing diagrams on the whiteboard. We exhaust pens rapidly.
Late in the evening one night after a long session, Nan turned to us and said, “I just now went to Paris. You were still sitting here in Pum Prey village and you didn’t see that I was gone because I went and came back so quickly.
I went to Paris by riding on le tableau. It’s much easier to fly by le tableau than to fly by plane because when you go by le tableau you don’t need money because you don’t have to buy gas. You only need a pen. You write the name of the place you want to go on the whiteboard, and you’re there.”
To learn more about The Antipodes Collective and our learning center in Pum Prey village please visit www.theantipodescollective.org