Sunday, August 30, 2009

shooting the queen and wrestling a llama

Okay, I admit. I need to get a life. I've been pretty stuck with work and the new shop for the past months that I almost forgot the existence of life beyond the office -that's the very reason why I haven't uploaded anything on my blog in like 5 months. I haven't touched my Facebook account since the French Revolution. I haven't upoaded anything on my Flickr account since Alexander the Great last tried conquering India. And my Friendster account (if that thing still exists), has been hibernating since the last Ice Age. It's sort of a llama (yes, the animal) of responsibility that I've been wrestling for the past months.

Recession has hit us pretty hard here that we have to sweat our asses more than the usual in order to make ends meet. And me, grappling with a monster (monsters actually) I've created (a design studio with an army of people to feed, and two shops/boutiques/galleries that we've invested on) have no choice but to be a slave to this llama of choice.

But as I'm hit in the head with the realization that I actually need to go back to things that I enjoy doing in the past before I lose passion with them completely, I am turning around my life by going back to my blog. Again.

Had a really cool chance of photographing Cambodia's Queen Mother recently as official photographer to her state visit to the Artisans d' Angkor.

Cambodians stood in unity to welcome Her Royal Highness, Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk in Siem Reap last week.

As the queen mother and the king father are these days, based in Beijing, China, their return to Siem Reap is truly a momentous occasion. They were greeted by an immense throngs of people from all walk of life.

The Queen Mother, originally named Paule-Monique Izzi, was born from a French, Corsican, Italian father and a Cambodian mother.

That explains her lovely bi-racial features... and her uncanny resemblance to England's Queen Elizabeth II.

At Artisans d' Angkor, she was presented with a gift of a finely carved gold leaf encrusted Buddha statue for her inspiring help to the project. In return, she presented everyone with gifts too!

But the clincher was when she asked to do an offering to the presented statue. She asked her staff for incense as offering, but no one in the crowd had a match to light it up. As everybody rushed to find her a match, I came to the rescue by offering her my lighter. She gladly accepted it, smiled and gave it to the Royal Protocol Officer (that's him lighting the incense with MY lighter) who gladly gave it back to me after the ceremony.

She left afterwards on board the Royal Benz #003. She wowed the crowd with her remarkable royal presence. And I, being scorned for being a smoker, learned one valuable lesson that day. Smoking can lead to royal connections.

I think I'll put my lighter up for auction on Ebay pretty soon. That may just be the end of the recession for me...