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Take us out for a ride and find

By: John Weeks and Nhek Sophaleap Posted: September-14-2010 in
Illustration - Nhek Sophaleap
John Weeks and Nhek Sophaleap

Take us out for a ride and find "Where there 's water, there's fish; where there's girls, there's boys."

Anyone who has ever seen the crowds around the parks and amusement areas on a Saturday night can attest to this saying. The illustration contains all examples of Cambodian youth, from five schoolboys crammed onto a Daelim, to daintily dressed damsels driving a Honda Dream.

Cruising in Cambodia? Is this possible in such a traditional society? (Will teenagers ever stop acting like teenagers?) Parents are quite protective of their progeny, but they could hardly restrict their sons and daughters from hanging out with their close friends. As we know, close friends go moto riding all the time ... and if one happens to be driving alongside a smart vehicle, with passengers that are easy on the eye, a compliment could be proffered. Over the traffic noise, a dialogue may begin that is sometimes polite but often playful. (Not to worry, a little pressure on the gas will lose any rude wooers.) Got the right clothes and ride? One might suggest "Hey, I can't hear too well, maybe we can pull over for a sugarcane juice or another treat."

Don't worry parents; the scene shown above is exaggerated for comic effect. Usually by the end of the evening all that has been exchanged is a few words and smiles, and maybe, just maybe ... a phone number. But a young lady is under no obligation to call someone she's just met - or to share her correct contact details.

Those who grew up with the long-running children's magazine Mom and Mab may recognize Nhek Sophaleap's style. In addition to regular education illustration - often for SIPAR publications - he has penciled the comic Life's Choices (Our Books) and illustrated If The Stones Could Speak for Heritage Watch. His artwork has been exhibited internationally, and, in 2007, he was awarded a trip to France for being the most distinguished participant in a comics workshop. Nhek Sophaleap - 016 869 023

Thanks to Sao Channa for colours and 'Pheap' for impromptu anthropology advice.



This saying was one of the many proverbs I learned by rote in my early years of Khmer class.
That said, I have no qualms with updating and modernization! Sign of the times, I think.

user avatar Sam


Nice piece but I believe the saying is "Where there's water, there are fish; where there's MONEY, there are women." (mien tuk, mien tdray; mien loy, mien srey)


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