Boys will be boys...

March 26, 2014

The very first day shooting with Nathan Horton Photography, he took us out into a market in Phnom Penh, gave us a cultural and language primer and set us loose.  Like everyone else I started off close to the group...but it didn't take long before I was wandering off practising the phrases I learnt and laughing and smiling at the openness and joking gestures from the vendors at the market.

 

From all I had read and what Nathan had said about Cambodian culture, I knew to expect that humour would play a large part in social interactions.  I envied Nathan and Amanda (a fellow workshop participant) their ready command of Khmer....I would have sold my left baby toe to be able to understand what all the joking was all about.  But I knew even if I didn't get it I could still be part of it by watching the body language around me and letting myself absorb the atmosphere and laugh along.

 

I guess the combination of curiosity and the giant smile on my face must have signalled I was ripe to have a practical joke played on me.  A vendor waved me over smiling with glee and gestured for me to look into a sack.   I glanced into it and he quickly jerked the sack and suddenly I could see that the sack contained within it a jumping-poppin-writhing mass of toads.....I guess he expected a scream of tourist shock...maybe girly disgust...I could feel his anticipation.   I feel terrible that a childhood as a tomboy and a lifetime lived with 5 brothers and mostly male best friends ruined what would have been a great joke.  Instead I squealed with glee and snapped off a few shots with my camera.   He was such a sport and laughed at the failed "shock the tourist" experiment and patiently held open the sack for me while I got the shot above.   I love Cambodia....

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