T.P.K

T.P.K is a married woman who lives in Massachusetts. She was born on December 6, 1937, and lived in a small town in Kampong Chhnang province. Her family members were poor fruit farmers who also sold poetry by rowboat. She was the oldest of thirteen children. Her parents did no send her to school and arranged her marriage to a husband 13 years her senior. She is currently the head of her household caring for a sick husband injured by the Khmer Rouge.

 

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"My mind was dark, like nighttime, and I could not think about anything at all. All I knew was that in the morning, I would go and do labor for the Khmer Rouge. We did not chit chat leisurely like we did over here. I would come back to my hut. It was like nighttime. My mind was like nighttime. I never thought about going to this place or that place. To say that there was light in my mind, any intelligence or any reasoning, no there was none. the only thought which I had was to go and do the labor, and to come back at night; when it was nighttime, we did not discuss anything."

"Since 1975 until 1979 I have never had watermelon to eat, never. Even when I craved for it until my saliva flowed, I wouldn't get to eat it at all, cause I was not in the right department, you know!I was not a vegetable gardener like them. I was busy harvesting and sewing hay instead; how could I get to eat any watermelon?When I was pregnant with Thorng, I craved for it so much until my saliva just flowed. I thought about the time when I used to grow them. I could not exchange anything for it at all. No one dared bring it to me. People could easily hide a cup of rice; how could they hide a big watermelon, since they were afraid the Communists would see it. The other day, I bought five of them. I still have one left."