Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Temples of the Children

When you're wandering around the temples of Cambodia, you are definitely going to run into children.  They are usually begging for money or trying to sell you a bottle of water and they can be VERY persistent.  If you try to ignore them, they will usually ask you where you are from. 

Who can resist a little kid asking about your background?   

So you answer ...

"Canada" or another common tourist country like Australia, England or the USA. 

And then they spill out a half-dozen facts about your country that you probably didn't even know about.

At that point, you are so amazed that you fork over a couple of bucks and buy their trinkets.  (At least, that is what they are hoping). 

I've been to Cambodia a couple of times now and most of the time, I LOVE to interact with the kids.  They are harmless, probably come from very rough backgrounds and after all, they are KIDS and I hate it when other tourists bat at them like they are pesky flies.  But sometimes, I'm really not in the mood to be bothered so when they ask me where I am from, here is what I reply: 


At which point, they get a blank look on their face and stumble away defeated. 

A lot of the time, the kids hang around outside the temples in small groups, keeping their eagle eyes out for a sweat-soaked tourist who might have an open wallet.  But sometimes, there are little kids hanging around the temples who just seem to be watching the world go by.  Who knows where these kids come from and in the case of the kid below, I'm not sure even what gender he or she was. 

These pictures were taken at the Preah Ko temple which is part of the Roulos group.  These temple pre-date Angkor Wat and are all quite small but still fascinating.  They are located just outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia.   

This little boy (I'm calling him a boy) was watching the tourists from behind a stone barrier. 

I asked my buddy Eddie (aka Reluctant Photography Model) to pose with him.  Eddie tried to get him to smile at the camera but it was unsuccessful for the most part and the kid really couldn't have cared less about what I was doing. 

Eddie was far more entertaining. 

I tried to take the little guy back to the US but the Cambodians have STRICT rules that nothing can be taken out of the temples. 

Oh well.

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