Everyone has a sales pitch

Selling trinkets, originally uploaded by coming2cambodia.

There are a lot of things that people can say to get me to buy stuff. I admit it—I am a sucker for a sap story, cute face, or irresistible price. I like 2 for 1 sales, second hand stores, homemade and original things (especially art and jewelry). I know my weakness!

So, when traveling, especially in foreign countries and markets—where I am more apt to be haggled, bargained with, followed, extorted—I have come up with a few key strategies. First, I pretend not to hear. Second, I pretend not to understand; often this is coupled with babbling in a foreign language. Third, pretend I am in a hurry. And, finally, under no circumstance do I stop and look at merchandise or the person selling. This theory has some flaws—the story I am about to tell does not illustrate one of them.

While traveling in India, I was often followed by people shouting out sale pitches. Some of these were good. Some were incomprehensible. Some worked. This was the worst! Here is the number 1 sales pitch in the world that will not work on me:

[Shouted by a man who sold marble candle covers that were carved so that the shape of elephants could be seen on the side. He followed me for quite a ways.]

“Madam! Stop. Buy my candle. Good quality! Look at this work. Very hard. Very tiny. You need tiny hands to do this. We have children who have learned. They are the only ones that can do such tiny work. You buy and I can bring you to the factory and see all the children do this work! Madam. You buy!”



Child labor is not a good selling point for me.


Photo Wednesday: Synergy

Synergy, originally uploaded by coming2cambodia.

Today I am starting a new tradition on my blog: Photo Wednesday. Photo Wednesday will consist of every Wednesday me sharing a picture I have taken or that has been taken of me that I feel should be shared. It might be shared because it makes a statement. It might be shared because I find it beautiful. It might be shared for a million reasons, but in general, those reasons will not be written with it. At most a line or two. The idea is that the photo is central. Today I kick it off with this photo which I call Synergy.

Per request photos will now include a little info including who is in them and when where they were take.  Synergy: take in Jaipur, India. Subject: Asia.

India trip in photos

Horse drawn carriage to the Taj Majal, originally uploaded by coming2cambodia.

Pics are up from the India trip. Click HERE! There are less than 100, which is hard, because i had 560 to choose from. So if anyone is interested in more…..

Road Rules Part I: Blow Horn India

Truck, originally uploaded by coming2cambodia.

Although I have not actually driven a car in India, I have spent sometime over the past week observing the rules of the road. After careful consideration, I have come up with the following guidelines for correct horn usage a la India style.

  • Beep if you see a horse.
  • Beep if you see a cow.
  • Beep if you see a camel.
  • Beep if you see an elephant.
  • Beep if you see a pig.
  • Beep if you see another car.
  • Beep if you see a truck.
  • Beep if you see a motorcycle.
  • Beep if you see a toy car (technically these are known as autos—they are green and small and have three wheels, use CNG, and are everywhere).
  • Beep if you are about the merge.
  • Beep if you are illegally going through a red light.
  • Beep if you are not going to stop at the stop sign.
  • Beep if you are changing lanes.
  • Beep if you don’t believe in lanes.
  • Beep if you are about to get hit.
  • Beep if you think you are about to get hit.
  • Beep if you think the guy next to you is thinking of hitting you.
  • Beep if you are about to hit someone.
  • Beep if you are thinking about doing something that would hit someone.
  • Beep if you are about to hit something.
  • Beep if you are about thinking about doing something that would hit something.
  • Beep if you see an accident.
  • Beep if a car is stopped in front of you (in this case continue beeping until the person moves regardless of if they can do anything about it).
  • Beep if you haven’t hit your horn at any point in the past 30 seconds.
  • A single beep cannot count towards two of the above at once. For example if you see both another car that is about to hit you and a cow, you should beep three full times (once for the car, once for the cow, once for almost being hit)

Please keep in mind that while these general mandates are not followed by everyone and are not legally binding—they are the norm (and only slightly exaggerated- perhaps).

As Kelso would say: “BURN”

A play in one act. 


C- A well traveled American woman

S- A well traveled Indian woman

Kelso- character from “That 70’s Show”




Inside a car, traveling somewhere in Rajistan.  Scenery filled with dry brush, rolling hills. In the background several monkeys play and a single dog watches the traffic.

Queue monkeys. 

C- Oooo. Monkeys.

S- (glancing to the side) That’s a dog. 


C- I may be American, but I do know the difference between a monkey and a dog!

Kelso (voice from off stage)- BURN!