In Sarah’s final Friendly Friday Challenge for the year, she’s asked us to profile memorable guides from our travels.
Whenever we visit a distant place, my husband makes a point of finding a personal guide. We prefer someone who’s knowledgeable about the area and shares our interest in photography. We enjoy street photography, so it’s important to have someone who understands the craft and has a connection with the people we visit.
I’ve posted about my guides before and for this challenge, I’ll re-post links and share a new anecdote at the end.
Starting with Nathan Horton who introduced us to the wonders of Angkor and put us on the path of travel photography. Nathan is an ex-pat Brit who fell in love with Cambodia, settled there and built up a successful business for photography tours. He’s since expanded his offerings to include Nepal and India, which look amazing.
I remember Nathan most for the sunrise shoot at Angkor Wat. It was very early morning, when the night was pitch-black and there was nothing but the sound of the jungle …
Another memorable guide was Reggie, a twenty something hipster from Saigon. I’ve posted many pictures of my time with Reggie, a testament to his shared interest in photography. Reggie was the person who arranged the model shoot in Áo dài – Traditional Vietnamese dress and who took us on a photo-walk around Saigon’s Cholon Market.
I showed him here in the post about Boys and Bikes and introduced him in If We Were Having Coffee … ca phe where I reflected on our histories. Reggie was young enough to be my son, which meant that his parents were old enough to be my peers. However, while we may have lived the same decades, we had very different memories.
It was in Saigon that we also met Arnaud, a displaced Parisienne who found a kindred spirit with my husband. I don’t have any photos of Arnaud, just some memorable advice for shooting portraits, “You muss go in cloze” which I describe in Just One Person … in Saigon
In Bali, our guide was Yande, a taciturn man who taught us about island life and the hidden animosities that linger between communities. I wrote about his view of bugis fishermen in Morning in Bali but never relayed this other story. It reveals a different version of Yande, someone with a sardonic sense of humour.
On another morning in Bali, Yande took us to the hills to greet the sunrise at Ulun Danu. On the way we were stuck in a narrow winding country road, part of a slow moving cavalcade of cars and farm vehicles.
At one point we were cut off by a motor bike hauling a makeshift bamboo trailer. In the trailer, precariously maintaining his balance, was a large pig. White exhaust belched from the bike’s muffler directly into the pig’s face and the trailer lurched and swerved around the pot holes.
On this stretch, where there were more holes than road, I wondered how the pig stayed upright.
Poor pig. I thought.
“That’s a happy pig,” Yande said.
“Why do you say that? Isn’t he going to the butcher?” I said.
“Oh no. He’d be in a different position if it was the butcher. He’d be lying down. That pig is going to visit a lady pig.”
“He’s a bull pig?”
“Yes. The owner probably got a call just now. So, he’s off to make a service.”
“How does the owner get paid? With the baby pigs?”
“No. No. He gets paid in cash for his service.”
“What if there’s no piglets?”
“It’s no matter,” Yande laughed. “Services rendered. No returns!”
There are two more weeks to Sarah’s Friendly Friday Challenge to feature Amazing Guides from your travels. While this will be the last of the MEET … type challenge in 2021, Sarah will join us again in 2022 to post new and interesting topics for Friendly Friday. Fabulous!
I look forward to hearing about your Amazing Guides, up until December 3rd. After that, I will host the final challenge for 2021. It will be fun!