January 6, 2013
Snake Charmers at Boat Quay
Snake charmers pretend to hypnotise the snake by playing a musical instrument usually a flute, but it is in fact their movements of the hands or the waving of the flute that attracts the snake's attention. The snake charmers here in Singapore are just providing the tourists an opportunity to take a snapshot with the snakes for SGD5. Very affordable and it is a pretty rare chance you get an albino python to be placed around your shoulder and to have your picture taken. When I chanced on the snake charmers while walking towards Boat Quay, I decided to sketch them in action. However the picture taking process only takes less than 5 mins so sketching the tourist with the snake is pretty hard. I ended up sketching the snake charmers resting or playing the flutes to themselves instead.
When one of them came over to watch me sketch, I seized the chance to ask for his permission to sketch the pythons up close. They were kind enough to allow me to sketch the brown python, which remained motionless throughout. When I was about to finish the line sketch, it slid away out of the basket. The snake charmer decided to close the lid so I have to paint it by memory. I was so tempted to have one of them placed on my shoulder and have my picture taken. But.... anyway can you spot where the eye is?