I was walking down to the post office, alone, and one little postcard girl approached me. I decided I would finally buy some postcards from her (I actually needed some).
G1: Where are you from?
(this is how their sales pitch always begins)
G1: The capital of California is Sacramento
(sometimes N teases them by saying a non-state word, like "I'm from pinecone" and the kid gets all confused).
Me: How much are your post cards?
G1: One dollar.
Me: I'll buy one.
(the little girl pulls out a scarf)
Me: That's not a postcard! I don't want a scarf!
G1: buy it for you husband! buy it for your boyfriend!
(while we are talking, another postcard girl comes up, G2)
G2: Buy my postcard!
Me: OK, heres a dollar!
G2: No! its 2 dollar!
Me: Yesterday it was one dollar!
(she relents, and I give her a dollar)
G1: You buy from her and not from me!
Me: Ok, fine, I'll buy s scarf.
(while we are talking, a boy comes up. I met him yesterday and he was very rude to N)
B: How come you buy her postcards and not mine!
Me: I don't need any more postcards!
B: You a bad woman
B: You an EVIL WOMAN!
(I try to ignore him and as a walk he starts cursing me, my husband (I hope he gets sick and dies), tells me to fuck off...)
Me: Go away!
B: This is my country! No! You go away! You bad bad bad! Go away from my country!
he followed me for two whole blocks, and finally he went away.
Later, I was walking down the same road with N and all three came up. I had promised G1 to help her write an e-mail (she gave me her addy), but B continued to flip us off and be obnoxious. He picked on N this time. I told her I wouldn't write her e-mail if her friend was mean to me. So I didn't.
Good Man in the Pagoda
N finally took me to the pagoda. One of the monks recognized her and they started chatting half in Khmer and half in English. Then I started asking him questions and we had a great conversation. A whole posse of laymen hung out with us. I asked him what he studied (pronunciation of holy languages, english and french). He said he really likes clubbing when he isn't a monk and he showed me his earlobe piercings. He confided that he had contraband cigarettes in his monk-vest pocket.
The pagoda is a collection of concrete buildings, stupas, a crematorium, dormatories and a primary school. Its probably the best kept place I have seen. We talked for close to an hour. I had brought my sketchbook along, and when I told him that I taught art, he wanted to see something I did. Unfortuntaly, I had grabbed my figure drawing sketchbook, and suddenly I got embarrassed. I thought there might be some other non-nakey drawings, so I flipped through it, but alas, I couldn't find any! He wanted to see it anyways, so all of the bystanders gathered 'round to check out the dirty sketches. Argh!
Samate (the monk) invited me back to the pagoda at 5, to hear the chanting, and I have another appointment with another one (I can't rememeber his name) at 6 for conversation.
I have two dates tonight with bald men! I LOVE cambodia!