First, there’s a dragonfly...
He lands in the grass at Angkor Wat. He balances on a blade of dry grass. His head is a small bead. His body is a yellow and black jellybean.
Next, a butterfly lands in Ta Keo temple...
She flutters around me on the steep temple steps. I almost fall as I follow her in the sky. She lands again on the temple wall.
Then there are hundreds of one dollar-bees...
The knee high fliers of Siem Reap.
The temple traders.
The sun-baked sellers.
The one-dollar bees survive on the American dollar.
They fly from person to person, searching for their paper pollen.
I listened out for the collective voice of the one dollar-bees – the children of the Siem Reap temples, three years upwards, who half speak and half sing to you as they sell baskets of bracelets and books, postcards and scarves, magnets and drinks, dresses and flutes...
The sound of the one dollar-bees
One for one dollar, one for one dollar, buy postcard, buy bracelet, buy fan, you buy flute, only one dollar, one for one dollar, how much you want for only one dollar, please lady buy, two for one dollar, cold drink for you and for your driver, lady for you, buy scarf or buy two, one for three dollar, bag for five dollar, you no have a magnet, buy magnet or two, one for one dollar, buy from me two, you buy from my friend, why you no like me, please buy from me too.
Where you come from lady? You come from England, I come from my Mum, you go to the temple and when you come out, please don’t forget me, I wait for you here, buy postcard from me, ten for one dollar, look lady look, ten for one dollar: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diez, nung, song, sam, si, ha, ho jed, bad, kow, sip, un, deux, trois, quatre, cinque, six, sept, huit, neuf, dix...
One for one dollar just for one dollar only one dollar lady one dollar, lady buy shirt, lady buy dress, lady buy hat, lady bye bye.
My purchases from the one dollar-bees at the Siem Reap temples
5 x weave bracelets, 5 x bead bracelets, 1 x shirt, 1 x bag, set of 6 chopsticks, 2 x set of 10 postcards, 1 x dress, 1 x wooden flute, 1 x fridge magnet, 1 x fan, 1 x scarf, 5 x cold drinks, 1 x coconut, donations for photographs.
Anyone want a set of chopsticks?