Dec 26, 2012
i pass through a cloud of weed smoke. it’s a small room, their place, four guys. all equally bald shaven, equally covered in tattoos, equally respectful, equally big built. the dark asian features, but … americanized.
they all sound like they’re american bits of trouble. one of them, not looking literate enough to distinguish letters on a keyboard, artfully changing a passport copy in the photoshop window in front of them. the others, drinking, talking. and jake, the token white guy.
“you got it all wrong, jake. they think you’re the king. you’re white, man.”
on we go, with lessons of culture.
turns out that all these dudes, and there is a pile of them, are deportees from the u.s. one dude, 20 years in prison. the others, … i didn’t ask. they’ve all got that politeness of guys who’ve done hard time. none of them ask questions. the talk centers around girls and making money. weird for being so the white dude, it’s where i’m most comfortable. people don’t really know respect till they were locked up for a while. and all the backpacker question asking could drive me insane. these guys, despite the stigma, easy to hang out with.
tonight, got invited to rent a room in their new house. feeling somewhat tempted by this. feeling somewhat like i should spend a month there, just to get perspective of cambodia from that side.
“jake, you gotta dress like you got something. no t-shirts. always dress shirt, shiny shoes, a gold chain. don’t talk about money, just act like you got it. bitches here be all over you.”
questionable that we’re talking about the bitches i’m looking for. still, hey. so far i don’t have that much good to say about cambodia, so might as well give their way a shot. also funny, half of them teach english at the local universities. with their fake passports, fake papers. bitter a bit, they tell me that i could just walk in and make twice what they do. no papers. ”just cause you white, jake.”
there are lots more nuggets.
“police stop you, you just stick your finger in their face and tell em to fuck off if they wanna keep their jobs. status, jake. you act like you got it, you white, they scared of you. do whatever you want here, man.”
tempting. a bit ago, knock on my door. two of them. telling me they’re going down to the party spot, tattoo shop. get some stuff and stuff tattoed. ”come down if you want, man. pick up some chicks.”
it’s that restrained attitude i’m digging. ex con, ex american resident, ex cambodian expatriats. dudes that belong neither here nor there, and know it. treading lightly, while also doing all their shady shit. closer to the pirate style than all the standard whitey expats, even if hanging with guys who got caught and look the part isn’t really my style. whatever. time for a drinkey-poo and a ride to the tattoo shop.
side note, been looking, digging for more vagbond, travel, blog things. not easy to find. where is that stuffs? somebody should write a proper dark-side travel thingie. sort of like naughty nomad, but more in depth.