04 Feb 2008
I’d heard the prostitution was less obvious in Cambodia than in Thailand but very much present just the same. I’d learnd not to walk past certain bars alone in Thailand unless I was feeling the need to be groped and fondled by a complete stranger.
I found a guesthouse in Siem Reap after three attempts, and I threw my bags in teh room and went out to get oriented before nightfall.
“Hello, hello. You need ride? Tour Angkor Wat tomorrow? Special price.” I heard this everywhere I went, and I waved them off one by one. “No. Thankyou. No.” One guy I waved off, though, would not let me go. “Ssst. Ssst. Hello. Sir. Hello.” When I finally turned around, he made an upward motion on his crotch. There were two other drivers sitting there as well, and they all smiled knowingly.
Here it comes, I thought. His next words would be “girl” or “boy,” or “boom-boom,” or whatever. But he just sat there and smiled at me. There was something universal in that signal, but because I was expecting something else, I missed it. I had to think a few seconds, standing there, facing the three drivers, all with broad grins on their faces.
I could have sworn … it almost seemed like … if I didn’t know better … Oh yeah, that was it. It was the universal sign for, “Dude, your barn door’s open.” I looked down, and sure enough. I zipped up and walked away to the sound of their laughter.
posted Monday February 2008