The author and her siblings were fortunate. Not only did they have the luxury of going to school six days a week, they also went to the cinema, ate out and regularly went shopping. Her father even drove a fancy Mazda sports car, a symbol of wealth and status that few in Cambodia at that time could afford.
She has also developed a love of photography, since Partners in Health gave her a camera. Her first question upon meeting someone is usually if she can take their picture; her second request is to look through the pictures they have taken on their phone.
Loung Ung was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. When she was five years old, her family fled to the countryside after the Khmer Rouge took over. They spent two months walking to a village where they stayed for 18 months before settling in another camp called Ro Leap. During that time, many of her relatives died from starvation and disease as the government slowly killed people who lived there.
Before the Khmer Rouge invade Phnom Penh, Loung Ung lives comfortably with her family. Her father has a job and they have enough food to eat. They live in a house and own two vehicles. Although they do not have a refrigerator, they are able to get fresh food each day at the market by buying it from vendors there. Loung is attending school where she learns languages and plays with friends at the market while wearing colorful clothing that her mother makes for her. She loves eating sweet cakes made by her mother as well as cuddling with her father when he comes home from work every night after dinner time because it reassures him that everything is fine between them 2b1af7f3a8