I met a long-term resident here, a man who has been in Cambodia for five months. He’s retired, from Oklahoma, and he shared his bacon. He buys a kilo at the market, he said, and they cook it for him at breakfast a handful at a time. He asked them to cook some for me, but he was all out – “They usually notify me a day ahead when I have one day left.”
He told me that he had been a teacher in Thailand, and that he had returned here because living in the US was such a struggle. He also said that it hadn’t rained for months, and that it was supposed to this afternoon, but it looked to climb above forty. “Just goes to show.”
He also said that there was a man here, an American, who ordered the tuk-tuk drivers around and generally acted like a peremptory jerk.
“He’d say, ‘You wait me here eight o’clock!’ and then he wouldn’t come down til eleven. And the drivers would ask him, ‘Where you go?’ and he’d say, ‘What’s it matter where I’m going, I’m paying you, aren’t I?’ And they’d want to know because they had a guy to take to the airport in two hours, you know, they couldn’t just – and then he’d be late. Then he wouldn’t pay them – he’d say, ‘Well, I’m going somewhere tomorrow so I’ll just pay you tomorrow,’ and then he’d give them like ten bucks for two full days of work. So they’d start saying, ‘Oh, busy, sorry, busy – ‘ and then they’d call all their friends and say, ‘Don’t come, don’t come, he’s here.’ So then he’d come down and nobody would be there, and then he had to go out to the street to find a tuk tuk out there.”