Workers building a new shop in the market pause for lunch
I’m continuing to photograph people and life inside the Russian Market (Psar Tuol Tom Pong). I hope to finish work by November, and we’ll see what comes next.
So far I’ve enjoyed the project. Every time I enter the market I get to practice speaking Khmer and meet new people, most of whom are friendly and enjoy having their pictures taken. This week I’m taking steps to make it official: writing a letter to the governor of Phnom Penh asking permission. I learned that I need permission if I’m not “taking tourist pictures.”
Preparing a fresh duck
I started working on this story last month (Feb, 2011). I’d love to finish it well and get it published. It’s a behind the scenes story (with individual stories) of hard work and hope we can all relate to but few ever see this way.
Cambodians are streaming into Phnom Penh every day looking for a new start in the big city. Young people come to attend universities and vocational school. They all have dreams that begin with finding a way to make money. This story is about a vocational school that trains students how to repair cars and motorcycles. Two or three hundred students are crammed inside at any given time. They range from young kids straight off the farm to well-worn men in their forties. Each can graduate with a certificate as soon as they master the material and pass the tests. They pay a relatively low one time fee that’s good for as long as they want to stay. Most live upstairs free of charge, cooking and caring for themselves: no alcohol is permitted and the doors are locked every night at 7pm. Many vocational schools in Phnom Penh are scams; they prey on people from the …