The innocence of a hug

July 7th, 2014, 2pm

Rented a scooter and drove upto Bokor mountain 45 kms from Kampot in Cambodia. Along the way it started raining and the road was getting steep. By the time I get there what started out as a glorious, sunny morning becomes a dreary, gloomy day and puts me in a foul mood.

As I park my scooter regretting why I came this far on my own to see some godforsaken Wat, a boy of about 10 walks upto me, saying something in Khmer and I’m thinking, “Oh boy here we go again! Another kid trying to sell me something I don’t want.”

I start to walk away from him but he pulls my arm and begins leading me up the stairs behind the Wat and points across. I’m just about to yell at him when I look up and it’s the most amazing view I’ve ever seen! Gorgeous Phu Quoc island, Vietnam is right across. The cloudy day somehow now adds to the beauty of the landscape! The boy who’s name I learn is Phe is pointing at my camera and wants me to take pictures and pose in them. His gesture is so sweet and innocent that I’m laughing and clicking away while he merrily poses!

After a few minutes I thank him and start to take out money to give to him but he shakes his head and instead stretches his arms out wide to give me a hug! I’m completely taken offguard by his innocence. He gives me a tight hug, shakes my hand and goes off down the Wat.

Here I was, being suspicious of the little boy when I saw him at first but all he wanted was to show me this breathtaking view, share a few laughs with me and give a hug!!

As humans our very first reaction tends to be suspicion but the innocence of a hug can be such a beautiful moment - trust a little stranger to make me see that!

Chris, Aakash, David Wade, Lea and 4 others said thanks.

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Nidhi Dagur

Newbie wanderer; digital marketeer; ad agency burnout

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