Strolling through the village
The boat stopped at a village this morning (docked would be an overstatement, since there was no dock, just a long gangplank made of a pair of 2×12’s) and the tour guides took us on a walk.
This wasn’t the usual stop, where you see a grungy town market with tiny stalls selling junk you don’t want. We walked past the school and the pagoda and then down a country road past little houses, and we stopped at a couple of them.
Getting off the boat we were met by plenty of the locals–they arent’ begging, they’re selling cloth. They don’t start with the hard sell, though, they start with “hello” “what’s you name?” “where you from?” all in excellent English. Mostly the salespeople are kids, as little as 3 and 4, who are accompanied by their mothers, who have the merchandise. As you continue your stroll, they accompany, never giving up. This village seems to be comprised of weavers, as everyone was selling cloth, scarves, table runners, place mats, handkerchiefs, etc.
The houses are classic Cambodian, built on stilts:
The workshops are under the house–every one has a loom. They apparently buy the thread from China, Japan or Vietnam, and can weave about 2 meters a day of cloth. The houses sit on good sized lots, and they are either gardening for themselves or truck farming, it’s hard to tell. Many of the large trees have netting underneath so you don’t get clonked in the head with falling mangoes, coconuts or papayas.
This is a very young country (half the population 15 and younger), so there are babies everywhere. This gives the old folks something to do.
My photo books say I’m supposed to get detail shots, so this is the arty view of the loom:
We were walking for about an hour, which is just right in the warmth here. Then back to the ship, where I found Gail in the salon checking her email. So I got my computer, we logged on and played a bridge tournament for an hour–won 2/3 of a point, too. Life if good, and so to lunch.