Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Knight in shining armour – take 2

Socheata and Plon
Coming to the rescue of waifs and strays can be habit-forming. Hot on the heels of my personal guided-tour for my two Bangkok friends at the weekend, I had open-house last night for two more pals, this time from Siem Reap, who were more than happy to accept the offer of my spare bedroom for a night – me and my big mouth! I’m only kidding, as Socheata and her brother Plon were more than welcome guests and we dined at the Vimeanangkor restaurant just around the corner before thumbing through some of my old photo albums, where they were in fits of giggles as they chanced upon pictures of themselves on a trip to Banteay Srei some eight years ago. I recalled in graphic detail as both of them were sick as parrots leaning out of the car window on the way there from their home near Srah Srang lake. Travel sickness and the Khmers go hand in hand I’ve found. They were in town again, firming up their visas to visit Japan in a few days time. For Socheata it will be a return to her Osaka home to see her deceased husband’s family, he passed away last year and Socheata returned to live with her own family at Angkor, while for Plon, it will be his first visit, achieving one of his ambitions, as he’s actually a Japanese-speaking tour guide at Angkor. Trips like these are not undertaken lightly, the air-fares alone will make a massive dent in the family’s income from selling souvenirs at Angkor Wat, Banteay Kdei and Neak Poan.

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