Postcard proseIssue 06 | August 2009

Education

by Pallavi Dixit

It’s unthinkably hot today.

Five children descend upon us in front of the cavernous, dirt-floor restaurant, one of those places within the Angkor park grounds that serves heaping bowls of greasy fried rice. They tell us we’re beautiful and where are you from?

America. India, originally.

One kid says, I am from New Delhi.

Another says to my husband, Where is your bindi?

A third corrects: Only ladies wear bindis.

The kids’ faces are younger than their voices. We buy three postcards, but no bracelets.

In the evening, at a restaurant with plastic chairs and buy-one-get-one-free $1.50 beers, a boy comes around with a box of books. We leave out the India part this time.

He says, The capitol of America is Washington, DC, and America has 300 million people minus two. He flashes a dimple, and continues: Obama is the new president and before him it was Bush, but nobody liked him.

There’s some sort of training involved in this type of work: current events, capitols of the world. Intensive English followed by a lesson in turning on the charm. 

Well past midnight, in a bar with a microphone and drunken singing, a six-, maybe seven-year-old girl squeezes between chairs and around tables hoping to sell us her flowers.

About the author

Born in India and raised in New Jersey, Pallavi Sharma Dixit earned her MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts and has recently published travel articles in the Star Ledger and fiction in the anthology Fiction on a Stick. She highly recommends volunteering in Tanzania, renting an apartment in Florence, attending a cricket match in Melbourne, doing anything in Luang Prabang and buying around-the-world tickets.

Read our current issue:

Poetry

Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok