Shake it like a polaroid picture


One of the things we realized while living in Southeast Asia is that a lot of “locals” don’t own cameras. They love getting their pictures taken and then seeing the pics on your camera.  So with this in mind, we packed Bruce’s mini polaroid camera with many extra film cartridges for this trip.  It was our intention to take as many pics as we could of the children we encountered and give them the polaroid. This has turned out to be the most wonderful idea and we have had our most beautiful moments because of this gesture.

In fact the biggest smiles we have received while on our second visit to Cambodia has been from the children we have taken and given polaroid pictures to.  See, they are used to posing for pictures from tourists, but for every single one of them that we encountered it was the very first time that they got to keep the picture they posed for.  There were some that were shocked, who had couldn’t believe that the polaroid picture would just pop out of the camera and there were some that were so filled with joy and happiness over this that they could hardly contain themselves.  We met these two little child beggars at the entrance of the Victory gate where we stepped out of our remork to take photos.  They came out of nowhere and were upon me trying to sell me postcards before I even knew they had appeared.  I replied that no, I was not interested in anymore postcards but that I would like to take their picture.  They stood less than enthusiastically for the pic but once Bruce explained how the “magic camera” worked and they realized the picture was developing and that we were giving to them, they were so excited!  Especially the little boy.  He was so adorable.  I took two pics of them one for the little girl to keep and one for him to keep.  Before they posed for the second pic, he took off his bag of postcards, puffed out his chest and smiled so huge for the camera.  My heart was so happy.  John and I could barely contain our own smiles.  Our remork driver kept talking to them in Kmer, assuring them that these pictures were for them, as the little boy couldn’t believe that we were going to let them keep the pictures, and t he driver himself was caught up in the moment as we all were laughing and smiling and feeling good all around.  As we left them, the little boy chased our remark for a little bit shouting “thank you!” and as I blew a huge kiss to him goodbye, he did the same probably not even knowing what he was doing but doing so with a huge smile….it was amazing how one polaroid picture could bring so much delight. It really was as Bruce described it, “magical”.



This wasn’t the only magic we saw this day.  Today was full of beautiful sights revisited and new experiences as well.

We have been to Siem Reap before, and the minute we got here we vowed to return  Return we have and we are still filled with the same wonder and awe that we felt the first time upon visiting.  Visit Cambodia, I dare you not to fall in love with the people, especially the children, the land, the temples, the shopping, the food, the remorks, the nightlife!

Via this post and the following pictures, I will try to “bring you along” and share our very full, very interesting, wonderful day.  Looking at these pics and this post, I can’t believe all of this was just in one day….we have been here since Monday, we leave on Friday, and guess what? We are already planning our return trip.  Christmas in Cambodia? I’m loving the sound of that.



The path leading to the temple


The pics above were from our visits to the Victory Gate, the Terraces of Elephants and Ta Prom.  Before we hit the places above, our first temple visit of the morning was to Banteay Srei, this is also referred to as the “Lady Temple” or the “Pink Temple” because of the color of stones used for the building of the temple.  It is one of my favorites and this time, since we were very early and the first ones there, the guides gave us a behind the scenes, behind the ropes, tour. John and I both felt a bit uneasy about going behind the ropes but we both agreed that we may never have the opportunity to get that close again so we took it.  The pictures we took and the “feeling”  of seeing parts of the temple that most don’t get to see was pretty intense.  Check it out.

Okay, wait.  Me being random again, the pics below are of us before and as we headed to Banteay Srei.



Whoops! Me being random again.   John and Bruce just returned from the pool and informed me that it’s time to get going, and yikes! They are correct.  Banteay Srei pictures later! It’s after ten a.m. and here, unlike in India, things get going early. Restaurants are open at 6:a.m., stores and markets have been open for hours already too.  This is our last day, and one of the best things we will do today is sit at an outdoor patio restaurant and people watch, and maybe even be entertained like the gentleman in this pic entertained us yesterday.  More about Jauneee (our magic man, fire eater, entertainer) etc later.  Off to spend another wonderful day in Siem Reap!

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