It all started when I was sent on a trip to Sihanoukville (the biggest port city in Cambodia), to photograph events surrounding the docking of US Navy Ship Tortuga. The political story behind this is irrelevant, though interesting (should I feel inclined, I may write up a post concerning the political aspect of this trip). However, this post is entirely concerned with, if it wasn't clear from the title, inexpensive Cambodian hookers and the events leading to them.
during which I learned quite a bit about why I don't plan on joining the service, our group arranged to meet later that evening. I presumed this time to be when the drunkening and relaxing would start. I was spot on.
Our driver took the Lieutenant, the reservist and myself from The Independence (our hotel) to a native-frequented karaoke/bar/restaurant/shittybeerpurveyor to meet up with the other journalists and my coworkers. After roughly an hour of watching other people drink shite beer and pretending to enjoy mine (damn toasts every forty-five seconds) it was decided that we would go out on the town like the fine group of young bachelors we are (most are, anyway). The Cambodian journalists disappeared soon after. so I was left with the Lieutenant and the reservist.
The reservist, a 27 year old blogger/ski journalist, proposes we get massages. I agree, but make it clear that only reputable masseuses were allowed to rub me. The other two were quick to agree. So far so good. We take a look around, taking into account the startlingly large number of caucasians enjoying the night life around us, much of whom were beautiful women. It soon became apparent that all the (STD free) parlors were closed since it was almost 10. A little bummed, the lieutenant leaves us behind and disappears for the rest of the evening. The reservist, we'll call him Res, and I decide to hit the beachside bars along Serendipity Beach.The area is absolutely beautiful, bars and restaurants line the beach, just meters away from the water.
At the first bar on the beach we are greeted by an insane looking englishmen (who soon proved to be a very cool fellow) offering free drinks of indiscernible nature, I assumed roofies. They looked girly, though, so I took one while Res takes 14. To speed things along, I have a great night hanging out with all the foreigners, especially a dutchman named Chris. Res, on the other hand, loses his shoes and money and failed to score with his target woman. At around 12:30 AM I finally manage to convince Res that going back to the hotel is a good idea (we have to be up around 7), and get us into a Tuk-Tuk (essentially a moto-carriage).
Off we go to our hotel, and I am content.
"Hey, you know what we never got? MASSAGES" bellows Res. I nod, paying more attention to the wind in my hair then the drunk smelly man breathing on me. However, something wicked my way came.
"You want massage!? I know where!" Yells the driver. But here's the kicker:
"You want suckeyfuckey massage?" Fuck you bastard driver, I thought. Res goes nuts over the idea, smiling inanely and yelling yes over and over. And that's how I ended up in a back alley in Cambodia being solicited by cheap, STD ridden prostitutes whispering such classics as "I love you long time" (which I thought was a joke) and "Come open your wallet open my legs".
I end up sitting there with Res and the driver for an hour arguing against the idea of getting aids. Res believes firmly that doing it will be very good for us. I take the opposite view on the matter. At around 2 Res goes silent, stares long and hard into the night, swaying with drink. He says
"I'm doing it." and jumps out of the tuk-tuk.
The last I saw of Res was him standing in the dim light of the hooker-hovel, no shoes, no money, smiling dumbly and surrounded by prostitutes. I have not seen or heard from him since.
Final Notes: It doesn't appear that our driver understood the difference between a massage and a fuck and I can only assume that the prostitutes hired Res as one of their own to work off the sex money he owed/owes them. I wish I brought a camera.