Jan 3, 2011
Oh What Fun It Is To Ride In A Tuk Tuk
In Cambodia we would do a lot of sightseeing in the morning and then go out for dinner and drinks in the early evening. The middle part of the day got very hot so we would go back to our lovely hotel and swim in the glorious pool. A few times I used this opportunity to go and draw on my own. I would set out from the hotel in no real planned direction. A few streets away I ran into some flower vendors. They were outside a pagoda. The flowers are sold to Buddhist's going to pay their respects at the pagoda. They also sold coconuts that were opened like a beautiful drink. Half their green shell was shaved off and there was a single lotus flower sticking out of the top like a straw. There was also a few holes drilled with some green stalks protruding from strategic points. A very beautiful object indeed. An offering of some sort. The shrine inside the pagoda was full of these coconuts. Anyway I parked my ass down in front of one of the sellers and began to draw. That peaked everyone's interest and they were all over me. Suddenly out of nowhere a four year old appeared. It became obvious I was her amusement for the day. She stayed right next to me the whole time I drew, touching the page constantly. Her mom came by to see that she was not bothering me. She wasn't. Her mom sat on the street next to cages of live black birds. For a fee, she would release two into the air. Some kind of Buddhist thing. The little girl was constantly trying to talk to me. She was barefoot and very dirty from running around the streets all day, making her all the more adorable. After about two hours of trying to talk to me, she had given up and was just standing quietly next to me holding my arm. Out of the blue, she started to sing jingle bells. Without thinking I chimed in and the two of us were singing it together. Suddenly her face lit up like crazy. She had done it. We had achieved a communication breakthrough. Jingle Bells, which was now my name for her was so excited that she made us sing it together another five times. When I was finally done, Jingle Bells gathered a few of her street urchin friends and they gave me a hug. I had made my first true friend in Cambodia.