The Little Multilingual Vendors

By Sydney Tong on September 29, 2016. Read time: 1 min.

Getting out of the tuk-tuk as we arrived at Banteay Samyre I was greeted by a young girl who wanted to sell me some crafts. This girl was different from the other children who had previously tried to sell me goods. She was immediately charismatic, and I could tell she was exceptional.

She quickly explained to me what she was selling and then asked my name. She told me to enjoy the temple, and she would look for me when I finished. Her sales tactic was different from the other vendors who are looking for a quick sale. As I walked away, I heard her talking to another couple in Spanish, and her friends were talking to another family in Italian.

When I exited the temple, she was true to her word and came running up to me asking if I was ready to buy something from her. We asked her how many languages she spoke, she and her friends gave us an impressive list of languages. We counted 6 in total. I am unsure if they can speak these languages fluently, but I am sure that they can speak these languages well enough to explain what they are selling, barter prices, and make a sale.

A part of being intelligent is being resourceful and making the most of what is given. For whatever reason, these girls are unable to go to school and have realized to make the most money they need to be able to communicate with as many people as possible.

These cute girls made me smile for a long time and are my favorite part of the trip. While it was inspiring to see these young women making the best out of their situation, they should have been in school. I wish I could buy enough colored bamboo animals to send all of these cute girls to school.

Join our weekly adventures

Gain access to our exclusive travel tips and more!
Expect exotic destinations, big adventures, flavorful food and unforgettable stories from our travels.