Hello from Siem Reap! I am on my 5th night here and to be honest, I don’t want to leave! I just love the laid-back feel of this place. It is not as chaotic as other tourist destinations and it is a big relief that most Cambodians can speak english.
It’s just the second day of our Angkor Wat Tour yet I’m already experiencing the so-called Temple Overload. I can’t help but feel amazed on how the ancient Cambodians created these temples and structures. Temple-hopping on a very hot day is not really that ideal because you the heat will suck your energy.
That morning, we first visited the famous Ta Prohm temple. If you’re a Tomb Raider fan, you will surely know why. I got too tired in exploring that specific temple that’s why I got a bit lazy on the second stop, which is the Pre Rup. I seated in one of the corners where some of the tired tourists were taking a break. I then saw a Cambodian man in his mid-twenties who unleashes his creative side by painting some of Siem Reap’s historical landmarks and sell it to tourists. On the side, there are young kids selling various products like bracelets, bamboo flute and postcards.
“How long have you been painting?’ I asked the young painter.
“Three years” He replied with a sincere smile.
The young female vendor sat beside him and showed some of the paintings to me.
“Lady, buy this beautiful painting I will give you discount”
“How much?” I asked
“$12 but I can give it to you for $10. You can post it on your room or in the office or in the door of your Toilet” she convinced me.
“Sorry, but I only have Philippine Peso here.” I replied.
“Philippine? Like Marimar?” asked the little vendor.
“Yes, That show is from the Philippines!” I mentioned.
I saw the glow from the painter and the young vendor’s face. I think that conversation caught the attention of other sellers so they went up to us to join our Marimar talk.
“Marian Rivera is pretty!” the painter said.
“I love that too! Marimar…. AW!” another young vendor said while mimicking Marimar’s signature kembot move.
“You know Angelica? The Bad girl? She’s bad, but very sexy” the painter said.
“Oh, that is Katrina Halili. She is also popular in the Philippines” I informed him.
“Sergio cute” another young vendor giggled.
“Sergio and Marimar couple in real life. They fell in love while doing the show. It’s Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera.”
“Marimar is also in a show where she is half-human half-fish” a local tour guide joined in while waiting for his clients.
“Dyesebel?” I asked
“Yes! Dyesebel!” the group said altogether.
“Aside from Angkor Wat, you must also paint Dyesebel and try to sell them to their fans. I’m sure that will be profitable for you” I suggested.
“Yes, I think I must try.” the painter replied with a smile.
It’s time to go and move to another temple. I politely said goodbye to them.
“Bye lady! Thank you!” the young vendor and the painter waved goodbye to me. I didn’t purchase any of the paintings or the souvenir items and I know that it is a tough job, but I think that short conversation in a way diverted their attention… AW!
Incidentally, Dingdong Dantes, Marian Rivera & Katrina Halili of the Marimar fame will be reunited in the new primetime TV show called My Beloved starting on Monday. I won’t be surprised if one day, this series will also make it big here in Cambodia. AWWW!
*Written last Thursday