Well I’ve moved on in the past coupla days. At Pai now, cool place but parts have been devastated by the floods. On a two day white water rafting trip tomorrow. Meant to be 60 good rapids…. hoping for some grade 5’s!!!
Anyway…. (haven’t got a camera, so gonna use these mails as a diary to keep things fresh in my memory… reckon that’s the best camera you’re ever gonna have)….. so where was I……
Oh forgot to tell ya about this thing I started doing in Angkor, which I’m gonna call reverse bartering…… I was in this market, just taking the piss basically and having a bubble with the people. Got to this one stall where I was just being cheeky with the girl asking the price of every item she had…. you know the score… “How much is that? Ok…how about that?…..how much is this?”. Just carried on until she clocked on and she started having a bubble with me back. Then I saw this Budda that I immediately fell in love with and I asked how much it was. She said “I’m not telling you”…. I was like “No way…. I’m serious now, I really want it, how much is it?” She was like…. “Dont care…too much for you mister!”. “You’re having a bubble bath” I said.” Please tell me”.
“$18″ was the reply…….”$10″ I said……”$14″ she said…..”$11” I went on….”Cannot…$13″….I was like “Ok, $12 then”…….then she said ok with a really down look on her face. I repeated “So $12 then” and she just nodded looking pretty dismal. So I went on “All right then….$13″…..she looked all confused and said “What?”…….I was like”Gor Blimey love….you drive an hard bargain….$14 and thats my final offer….aint budging!”……she said ” You sure?”…..I said”Yep”….and she gave me one of the biggest smiles I think I’ve ever received and we had a good laugh!!!
So, basically, to reverse barter you get the dude or dudess down to a rock bottom price, and then, once they’ve agreed, you start bartering back up again. After the poor bleeders initial look of confusion…. you get the biggest smile in the world…… now that’s priceless!!!
Another thing happened in Angkor while I was out with Te on the moped at one of the sites. We just left a site and as usual you get all the kids coming up and trying to sell you….. well… shit basically. Anyway, as they’re all gathering round, suddenly they all jumped back and started to run away. As I turned round I got the shock of my life… which thankfully and pleasingly, for me, only lasted a second…. right by my shoulder was the poorest creature I’ve ever seen in my life. It was a girl with the most deformed features I’ve ever seen…. she didn’t look human…. she looked as if she’d been caught in some kind of blast and burnt horrifically…. and I mean horrifically. I regained my composure and looked into her eyes, smiled and asked if she would like something to drink. She nodded in response and I said “Come on then” and we went over to a drinks vendor. As I joked about with her, my heart was just saying reach out and hug her, it’ll be alright….. but there was this horrible thing that was niggling at me….. that horrible thing was fear….. “What if she’s got some kind of disease”….bullshit innit….Princess Diana didn’t worry about that when she cuddled those kids with Aids.
As me and Te sat in this resturant I watched the girl as she hobbled along by the crowded stalls across the roads. People were literally running away from her, clearing a path wherever she walked…. it was terrible. I asked Te to ask the owner what had happened to her but didnt get an adequate reply. I was thinking what it must be like to spend your life with people not wanting any contact with you…. and running!!! Then I thought… bollocks to it… it’ll be alright…. so I got another plate, put half of my meal on it and started walking towards where I last saw the girl with the intention to give her a hug and some food. As it happened when I found her she was sitting, so I just crouched beside her, gave her the meal and, reassuringly, rubbed her shoulder and back. Everyone seemed to be watching me…. I hope they learned something.
Three weeks later I was in southern Laos and talking to this aussie bird. She started telling me about this story she heard about in Cambodia. A family accidently spilled some boiling water on they’re new born baby. As the child was growing up they noticed she got more money then their other kids begging because of her scars….. so you know what they did…… they boiled a pot of boiling water and poured it all over her!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT KIND OF REALITY COULD YOU BE LIVING TO BE ABLE TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT!!!!!!!….. to your own child! How disconnected from your humanity could you possibly be???????????? I know the story was about the girl I’d met…. I just know it. I asked the question and I got the answer. Nothing can justify something like that…. no form of desperation….. its evil, pure evil. But they need to be forgiven….. they know not what they do.
I’m gonna have to leave it there. sorry.
Love and Light,
P.S. Just been considering not sending that last story…. but like I said at the top, these mails are gonna be the diary of my experiences as I continue on this journey. If you have no wish to receive them, just let me know or block my email. Its all gravy baby!