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The Actual Actual-Cambodia    

By Ken Silver About Asia
3002 Views | 0 Comments | 8/26/2013 2:30:11 PM

Dating Asian women in Cambodia may come with some government added baggage these days.

During the rainy season in Southeast Asia one begins to appreciate blue sky… Just now I’m sitting with my friend the Rajah on the balcony of the Foreign Correspondents Club in Phnom Penn, Cambodia. I’m manning the future barricades, waiting to see if the recent election dispute will cause riots and tanks in the streets. I’m hoping for democracy and a press pass out of it. The Rajah seeks out such situations because in times of terror it’s easier to cage free drinks and meet beautiful Asian women.

“Had the good fortune during the Bangkok riots to fall in with a genuine missionary who was in Thailand saving souls”. The Rajah laughed at the absurd notion of Thai people possessing souls. “I saved him from two rioters who were actually working for me. He took me to his home, where I was industrious in hacking into his bank accounts.”

The Rajah leaned back in his rattan chair. The rare sunny day was drawing brilliantly to its end. It was quite pleasant, and in the trees across the way we could see a group of monkeys.

I gave my friend a quizzical glance.

He smiled. “Yes, I buggered his wife.”

Dear Readers, is that how we should conduct ourselves in this life? Stealing, drinking, and screwing? Lying to everyone around us?

In the interest of helping you reset your moral compass, let me now be completely honest and admit that, though I write a blog on it, I have never actually once set foot in Southeast Asia. Never the less, I hardly feel I have misled anyone – especially you! - as I am telepathically guided by a dog from the far future who would never allow falsehood, and who has traveled extensively to Southeast Asia on the astral plane. He is also an authority on Asia travel and Asian traditions.

Nor am I a substance abuser, except for dog biscuits.

Ah, heck, time for me to really tell the truth about both you and me! “Im “actually – believe it! - just a collection of random keyboard strokes caused by cold winds out here in this abandoned, broken windowed radar station far inside the Canadian North. You are actually in what is politely called a “nuthouse”. It’s a sad commentary on your deranged mind that you actually see words in all this random nonsense.

Oh, your friends were sad when the authorities committed you, but frankly, not very surprised…

There, I’ve been complete and honest. My moral compass now points true north, ironically to that same deserted radar station!

How’s your moral compass in a world where everything points in every direction at once? Experts say if you are buried by a snow avalanche the first thing to do is spit so you can tell by the way the spit falls which direction is up.

Kind of hard to spit inside one’s mind and heart, of course, to see which way is up.

Life in Asia, and particularly traveling Cambodia, is sometimes like walking besides a crocodile infested river. I can never be sure when a swindle or con game or rip off will suddenly grab me out of the blue. Tip - never hand a vendor your currency before double checking the amount. The vendor may have been, waiting, crocodile like, for months, to tell an especially inattentive customer “you gave me too small bills“, and then hand back his own prearranged small money.

Still, that lack of honesty pales beside the current ruling government , which is busy selling off all of Cambodia’s natural resources – yes, even the frogs and snakes - to the Chinese and Vietnamese. Perhaps the current Prime Minister is also being guided by a dog from the future. Perhaps his life is far simpler this way. At the same time, though, how can it be the Cambodian government is doing little or nothing for its’ poorest citizens? It often seems as though in this country of the land mine crippled the government aid policy is “You have legs! You can support yourself!!”

Ordinary Cambodians are rising to the occasion, basically chanting slogans like “kick out the blood sucking foreigners”, despite warnings “foreigner” won’t play well with the global liberal media.

Meanwhile the government continues to turn working class Cambodians into serfs for foreign investors and blood sucking tourists like myself.

So, to reset my moral compass I stand watch on what may well be the barricades of revolutionary days to come…

Minor Disclaimer - –Did I say I was in Phnom Penn, at the barricades? Almost true! However, this was actually written in an air conditioned café in tourist town Siem Reap, while sending the waiter downstairs for yet another napkin; and listening to my traveling companion rant about how the legless booksellers have exploited her long enough, and why don’t they get a real job, or at least be forced to reveal their extensive financial holdings.

She only uses her moral compass for its shiny mirror side, in order to apply makeup/

Life is far simpler that way.

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