Mentally worn out after endless harassment by Angkor Wat touts who were continuously in my face, I stumbled across an Apsara Group dressed up in traditional Khmer costumes whose purpose was the same as the purpose of any other tout at Angkor Wat – to make money off of foreigners. This Apsara Group was vastly different though. They actually put some effort into looking really cool and did not spend their time in people’s faces, with an exception of their manager, or whoever he was, who just could not leave me alone and had to get in my face insisting that I leave everything alone and line myself up with the group for a picture. As most other Cambodians, he was extremely pushy and invasive of one’s personal space but the group looked too cool to say NO.
I knew that because I was in Cambodia, nobody would even fart in the water for a foreigner, unless they are getting money for it so the premise of getting my picture taken with this group just because they want the tourists to have good memories and only have nice things to say about Cambodia is sheer utopia, so I got myself ready to shell out.
None of the group members in costumes spoke any English but they were clearly instructed by their manager to say “Senk Juu” to every foreigner to make the impact more striking. The manager told me the donation was voluntary so I ended up giving them $3. It seemed as though this was the most they have gotten from any single individual in ages. They were truly grateful and could not believe I gave them so much, yet I thought that because there is six of them in the group, anything less than that, when shared would be rather insufficient.
Anyway, this is what it looked like when their manager lined me up with the Apsara group and took the pictures with my camera: