This photograph was made in a small village at edge of Tonle Sap Lake. It was a sunny afternoon and I was walking with my Cambodian friend along the narrow street that connected practically every house in the village. Houses on both side of the road were built on stilts to make room for rising water levels during the high season. At some point, when the village ended and the vast expanse of Tonle Sap began, the road dipped into the water and disappeared. I was standing at the edge of water and watched the life go by. Children played, ran behind each other and splashed water on their friends. Adults went about their daily transactions – some people conversing leisurely with their neighbours, some bringing in fish for sale, some transporting goods on their motorcycles. The one common thread among all of them was the leisurely pace they did things in. No one was in a hurry, no one was anxious and no one looked like they took anything seriously. Most importantly, no one appeared to be worried about the next day and no faces showed creases on the forehead.
At some point, I turned around to look at the road I walked through, and found this charming lady in a saturated orange jacket and a hat riding towards the edge of the water. She, rather her clothes, instantly caught my attention.
Her bike was also of equal interest. The two-wheeler seemed to be counting its days and ready to disintegrate into the earth any moment. And yet, this isn’t the most ramshackle automobile I have seen in Cambodia – they ride bikes in much worse conditions, usually functioning fairly well. Honda Dream is the most popular mode of transport in the country, and perhaps the longevity promised by Japanese automobile companies plays a key role here.