The grown man who’d never been in a lift – experimental post

There’s a childlike excitement in his eyes I regrettably never anticipated; they flitter erratically – anxiously consuming every detail of the metal box before it’s snatched away. In the brief, eternal moment, I’m choked by the brutal unfairness of it all.

I knew it before, but it has never looked at me expectingly in the eye, eagerly awaiting my next move. I see a child – illuminated – suddenly hopeful that all is possible, and I feel guilty; guilty that I am responsible for letting the metal doors slide open; guilty for even allowing him a glimpse inside the mythical, illusionary box.

“Ping!” he mimics.

His entire adulthood he has afforded little by driving foreigners from A to B in Cambodia’s most famous city. It’s often hours before a passerby agrees to a ride in his tuk-tuk on any old street, so every day he wakes early to get a good spot outside the extravagent hotel with the white pillars. Waiting lazily in the polluted air,  he anticipates the next wealthy guest who will walk down the steps he has never dared to step on.

At least, that is, until today.

Photographs from Siem Reap, Cambodia

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. BunKaryudo says:

    The tuk-tuk driver had never been in an elevator before? I live in an apartment building, so it’s a thing I take for granted and never think twice about. Now I’m thinking I should really be a bit more grateful for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TravelCopy says:

      Hi BunKaryudo, so sorry for the late reply. He hadn’t been in a lift, no. It’s difficult to put into words just how much his reaction shocked me. It was so unexpected, and in all honesty, It felt like a slap in the face. I never thought that a ride in a lift (or an elevator) could have such an impact on somebody. I smiled back to him, but inside I felt like I was being ripped apart.

      It’s worth pointing out that this post was a bit of an experimental one for me. I don’t know for sure if he sat outside my hotel every day, but I do know that his annual income would barely cover a 7 night stay. It’s a ride which, although only lasted seconds, will certainly stay with me for a long time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. BunKaryudo says:

        Well, it was certainly a very thought-provoking story. incidentally, please call me Bun (pronounced Boon). Everybody else does. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. inkbiotic says:

    Great title! Like the story and the photos too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TravelCopy says:

      Hi inkbiotic, thank you so much. That means a lot 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

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