Relying on someone else to translate your thoughts while in another country can sometimes lead to hilarious moments, moments you might not even realize are hilarious until months later when you’re going through your footage with a different translator and those strange answers and odd looks you kept getting from your interview subject suddenly makes sense.

The following took place at a wedding in Cambodia in which we were interviewing Navi, a friend of the bride and groom, about weddings. Until our recent translator translated this exchange, I had no idea there was a little bit of meandering during our interview.

Stax: Does she think weddings are important and if so why?

Translator (in Cambodian): Do you think the bride and the groom are important?

Navi: Yes they are important.

Translator (in Cambodian): Why are the bride and groom important?

Navi: Because I’ve known them since they were little.

Translator to me (in English): Because she’s known them since they were little.

Stax: (Internal dialogue: Maybe there was a misunderstanding. Just ask again.) So why does she think weddings important?

Translator to Navi (in Cambodian): Why are the bride and groom important?

Navi: Because I’ve known them since they were little.

Translator to me (in English): Because she’s known them since they were little.

Of course.

Fellow Misadventurists,

Good news! We have an update worth reporting regarding the first episode of “A Wedding of Cultures” .

As some of you may know, we experienced a bit of trouble finding a suitable translator for the Khmer Wedding pilot episode of our Web series. But after a few false starts, we’ve finally found a couple of exceptional university students who were willing to put in the time needed to complete this brain-busting job.

Khmer is exceedingly unlike English in form and grammar and presents a challenge for even those fluently bilingual in both languages. Some concepts don’t make sense, and expressions are not always clearly transmissible into English. Several times, one of our translators has had to call mothers and grandmothers during our translation sessions to see if they can interpret a phrase.

Not to mention, the time commitment is immense, requiring the translator to sit side by side with the filmmakers as we transcribe. Luckily these two Cambodia-born students from the Cambodian Student Association at Portland State University have been up to the task, taking time away from studies to help us out.

As a result, we are only a couple of weeks away from being done with the translation and hence, almost ready to start editing the full first Webisode! Thanks to all those who helped support Episode 1 and 2,  and we’ll have frequent updates on the blog and our Facebook page as we have more info available.  Stay tuned! (And of course we’ll have more fun videos and updates coming up for you on this blog.)

 

Here’s another Video Snapshot for our beautiful followers.

Bokor Mountain Hill Station in Kampot province, Cambodia, was built by the colonial French as a resort for their brass at the top of a 3,200 ft peak in the Elephant Mountains.

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Beej, overlooking Popokvil Falls on Bokor Mountain. Image (c) Stacy Libokmeto 2015

In the next decades various occupiers used the run-down shell as a strategic outpost to spy for invaders along the Gulf of Thailand to the south. Then the place was simply abandoned, left to be overgrown by thick jungles and surrounded by one of the most diverse arrays of plant and animal species in Cambodia.

17081390205_c7256c7aba_oBut market forces and profit motives made this Edenic state short-lived. Illegal poaching and logging decimated the thick highland old-growth forests and native species like big cats and elephants.

And recently Cambodia’s oil and gas giant Sokimex Investment Group, with it’s Sokha resorts, announced a plan that will lay waste to the rest. The energy monopoly, in league with the government, bought 10% of the land atop the mountain (making the “National Park” moniker meaningless) building roads and vast parking lots for a gigantic private hotel/casino complex that will be the largest in Cambodia.

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A Sokimex industrial plant atop Bokor Mountain. Image (c) 2015 Stacy Libokmeto.
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Beej motors past a future parking lot on Bokor Mountain. Image (c) 2015 Stacy Libokmeto

So far only the Thansavour Hotel is open, so if you want to experience the park with only minimal traffic jams and litter, your time is now: large swathes of rather spooky jungle, plus the impressive multi-cascading Popokvil Falls, are still accessible for now.

(Warning: we strongly recommend hiring a cheap local guide if you would like to do any off-road hiking – unexploded land mines from the Khmer Rouge era still litter the hillsides. Only a local with experience will know which forest trails are safe!)

Enjoy the video and watch for more updates soon!

This final installment in our serial short film – “Three Temples, Part IV: Ta Prohm”  – takes us on a rather hallucinatory journey through the final temple the Misadventurists explored on their visit to Angkor Wat.

Immortalized by the Tomb Raider films, Ta Prohm is an atmospheric, tumble-down wonder that can only be reached via a half-mile pathway through thick jungle.

Stax wanted to get across via film and sound our total exhaustion by this point in the day, with sweltering 100 degree heat adding to our already mounting fatigue. The thickness of the heat and the cries of the jungle birds, along with the weirdness of the locale and a relentless stream of comically well-dressed tourists joined together to make this the weirdest and most colorful of our temple experiences.

Enjoy!

Produced, shot and edited by Stacy Libokmeto for Misadventurist Media. (c) 2016 Misadventurist Media.

Music: “Shutdown” by Noidboy. From 2016 album “Elp” on UpitUp Records.
Shared via FreeMusicArchive.org. (Shutdown by Noidboy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.)

As promised, we bring you Part II of our new serialized short film. Three Temples: Sunrise over Angkor Wat is set just after the previous intro we posted, on the grounds of the main temple at Angkor as the sun rises and the day heats up. Enjoy!

Produced, Filmed and Edited by Stacy Libokmeto.

All music used by Attribution/Non-Commercial licenses from FreeMusicArchive.org.

MUSIC:

Salted Caramel by Black Twig Pickers and Steve Gunn is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License. (c)2012 NATCH Label (natchmusic.tumblr.com)

sing! by The Fucked Up Beat is licensed under a Attribution-ShareAlike License. Based on a work at https://thefuckedupbeat.bandcamp.com/… (c) 2015 The Fucked Up Beat

collapse! by The Fucked Up Beat is licensed under a Attribution-ShareAlike License. Based on a work at https://thefuckedupbeat.bandcamp.com/… (c) 2015 The Fucked Up Beat

Please find more of our featured artist music at:
natchmusic.tumblr.com
blacktwigpickers.com/
thefuckedupbeat.bandcamp.com

 

A lot of the experiences we’ve had traveling the world are easy to classify and relate to people who haven’t been to those places. But ask us about Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument on Earth – visible from space with the naked eye – created by the visionary leaders of the Hindu Khmer empire out of sheer excess of imagination –  and we don’t even know how to begin. So many sensations, so much heat and history, and so much footage.

How does one even narrow down the Angkor Wat experience?  That’s what we asked ourselves.

Our answer? Three Temples, a serialized short film unlike anything we’ve produced before. In the film – which we’ll release in four installments over the next week or so – we roam three giant structures at Cambodia’s fabled Angkor Wat in 100 degree heat, all while having had practically no sleep in the 24 hours prior to our visit.

Stax’ idea was to try and capture, using film and music, just what this challenging, draining, but ultimately rewarding experience was like.  And Part I: Before Dawn is Stax’ rather spooky one-minute intro to the film. Enjoy – and oh yeah, watch out for Part II: Sunrise in a couple of days!

Camera by Stax and Beej. Edited and narrated by Stax.

Music: “Mariner 4/ Project Blue Beam” is by The Fucked up Beat from their album Europa II and is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (aka Music Sharing) 3.0 International License.
No changes were made to this music.

License: Mariner 4/ Project Blue Beam (The Fucked Up Beat) / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

In Ho Chi Minh City, we stayed in the fabulous Vy Khanh guesthouse in Pham Ngu Lao. Vy and her family were kind and generous to us, and the neighborhood was a ton of fun. There will be a longer update about Saigon later (after more Cambodia goodies, of course!) This is just a taste – a Video Snapshot Beej shot one morning of the evocative warren of alleys that we woke up to every day on our way to breakfast.