I've been running Simple Things by myself (without Andrei and Marina, but with our Khmer staff) for 55 days, and tomorrow my "low season shift" (which has been anything but low) will be over. Marina will be back, and I will hug her, and then swear a lot in Russian. It's been a weird experience — I get a lot of those lately: living above the restaurant, in the yoga room (ironically, sleeping near the yoga mats is the most yoga I've done here), working 6 days a week, all day long, dealing with all kinds of random problems that Cambodia is so generous with. This rhythm didn't leave too much time for thinking, but left a lot of time for feelings. The feeling of complete loneliness, while being constantly surrounded by people. The numbness that comes with the routine: different people, but the same faces. Anxiety – there was a lot of it, because some shit went wrong almost every single day. Gratitude – for every sincere interaction that I've had; for every little piece of help that I've gotten, in all possible forms; I am so bad at asking for help, but so grateful for it, especially when I don't even have to ask. The feeling — the moment — when you suddenly truly see someone, among all the people who come and go, and when you are truly seen. This is the most precious one for me; the other stuff will fade with time, but not this. The feeling of love, and being loved. Turns out it can blossom even in the most unfavorable conditions. The feeling of how random, chaotic, and elastic reality is — anything could happen, and it can be right now. The overwhelming heartbreak when people leave; this is the worst one, and the other stuff will fade with time, but not this. The feeling of being just so. fucking. tired. But in the end, if I had to cry from exhaustion in the middle of the night, with a scoop in one hand and a bucket in another, water slowly flooding my kitchen, for all the good things that had happened to me during these 55 days, I'd do it all over again. (Okay. I would need to sleep for, like, a week at first. And then I'd do it again).