Friday, February 12, 2010

Banteay Srei Day

14 January 2010 – Temples of Angkor, Cambodia – Banteay Srei

After two more days of lazing around Siem Reap, I took a long tuk tuk ride to the far away temple of Banteay Srei then back toward Angkor Wat for a couple of temples. [bxA]

On arrival at each site, two or three young women shopkeepers would rush at me with scarves and purses, “Hey lay-dee, you wan’ sumsing? You buy sumsing? You want scaff, laydee?”

I’d say no no no, and one of them would follow me all the way to the entrance saying, “You change your mind, lay-dee, you remember me, okay? You buy from me, okay, lay-dee?”

I made it through the day buying only one purse that I didn’t want but it’s come in handy lately.

Banteay Srei was really fun because all the Hindu gods were familiar from my recent stint at the ashram in India.

I especially wanted to see the carving of the kidnap of Sita (for reasons with which I will not bore you) but…

I spent at least thirty minutes examining the carvings throughout the temple and couldn’t find it.

I also saw Ta Prohm …

and Preah Kahn...

After which I was totally exhausted, starving and dying of thirst. That’s when I spotted the fruit stand on my long walk back to the tuck tuck.

“Hey lay-dee! You wat a pine-appa-ba-na-na, lay-dee?

“How much is a mango?”

“One dall-ah, lay-dee."

“Okay, I’d like a mango, please.”

She set to carving a mango while a younger woman doted on the baby they kept with them at the fruit stand.

“How old are you, lay-dee?”

“Thirty nine.”

Eyes wide.

I smiled, “How old are you?”

“Twenty-fie – I hah three bay-bee.”

“I don’t have any babies,” I offered to save her from asking.

She smiled, seemingly in disbelief, then changed the subject.

“Where you frah?”


She didn’t understand so I tried again, “Yoooo – Esss.”

“Ah! Yoo-Ess-Aye!”

We exchanged my U.S. dollar for her freshly carved mango and I said goodbye.

“Good luck to you, lay-deeh!”