Monday, July 5, 2010

Landen and Amanda

Nita kept mentioning friends she wanted us to meet. They were American, we were American. It was a match made in heaven!

Landen and Amanda have lived in Kampot for almost year. Originally from Texas, they settled down there after a long travel through Europe and Southeast Asia. Their son, Pax, is six months old.

Landen has published
five books. One is a travel memoir from Thailand and the other four are works of fiction (and are conveniently all available in a single book called, Four Books). It pretty much rocked our worlds to learn that he makes enough off the sales of those books (and his publishing house doesn't even provide advertising or marketing) for the family to live on in Kampot. Note to self, become author. Of course, Landen says he can show you a whole pile of rejection letters that came before he ever published anything. I am sure the story of every author.

Landen is quite the character. He is easy to spot in a crowd with a mane of bushy, untamable, curly hair that leans more towards red than it does dark blond. More often than not is it tapped down under a baseball cap. He speaks with a Texas drawl and with Southern manners. A collector of information, he is just as likely to ask you your astrological sign as your favorite car (though, he is guaranteed to ask you your astrological sign). Amanda is one of those tiny barang we kept hanging out with that made me feel like an ogre. She, too, has a little Texas in her voice. Though tiny, Amanda must be a pretty strong woman. She had Pax at home, in a foreign country that isn't famous for its medical care (that would be its neighbor, Thailand). Obviously everything went well. Landen and Amanda consider it a relatively normal thing. Nita, on the other hand, is obviously awed by Amanda's choice to have her baby at home and considers it an amazing accomplishment. Amanda said that afterwards Nita was by their house with every imaginable kind of medicine and vitamin she could bring from the local pharmacy.

We hung out with Landen, Amanda, Pat the Aussie and Nita are last night in Kampot at The Green Man. The next morning we were catching a bus to Siem Reap.

— Sara

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