Song was my Tuk Tuk rider from Siem Riep, Cambodia many many years ago when we went to visit the temples of Angkor.
Song was always greeting us in the morning on time and with a smile plastered on his face that hid all the hardships of living in Siem Riep.
As a Tuk Tuk rider, he was very knowledgeable, took us to places where locals go as well as all the important temples in Angkor, he was flexible, he was on time and he was very careful and calm.
Over my short period in Siem Riep, we sort of became friends. I visited his house and family (at that time he had a wife and a daughter but I come to understand he now has a son as well).
What surprised me the most about Song is that he kept in touch. About a year after our visit to Siem Riep, I received this call from Song on Christmas to wish me and wifey greetings from him and his family.
And year in year out for the past few years, I have received calls from him at least twice yearly and I too sometimes just give him a call - friendship after all has to be two ways.
Over years, I have asked my friends if they required a Tuk Tuk rider in Siem Riep, I know just the guy. Unfortunately, most of them had tours arranged or vans or etc etc.
Nevertheless, anytime someone were to go to Siem Riep, I would ask them if they needed a Tuk Tuk rider.
Recently, a friend went and this time, she took up the offer and I was happy to inform Song that I had a customer for him. (The pictures here are the courtesy of my friend as I cannot find my old pictures of him from more than 5 years ago when I first met him.)
I got the friend of mine to buy some chocolates for Song and his family which she duly did.
And of course he called me to thank me for it. He said his 2 kids were very happy because they were eating chocolates for the first time ever in their lives.
Song has had a tough life, as many do in such countries. Cambodia has been torn apart by the Khmer Rouge and yet the smiles of the people, the smiles on Song, the pure heart - we have a lot to learn from these people.
If you've not been to Siem Riep, go.
If you need a Tuk Tuk rider, call Song. His number is +855 977 600 077.
I am sure he will treat you well, and you will not be disappointed.
God bless you Song and your family. I am glad your children got to try chocolates for the first time. I am sure they will grow up to be as wonderful a person as you and your wife are.
Take care and be well.