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I left. I left! On the road again. By nightbus to Pipi, nickname for Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. One of my brothers, Orong, asked me a couple of nights before when I go next time to Pipi. I was deejaying and I assumed he wanna take over, he doesn´t like the music. I laughed and replied, “I pee in the bottle, bro”, and hit it. Picture the battle cruise in his face. Bottle-feeded termhunt.
After a sleepless ride as usual, after sleepless nights of farewell in Siem Reap, as usual, I felt stomped. Dizzy. Maybe donating blood before I jumped on the bus, in my condition, taking painkillers, wasted, canned, beyond feeling balanced, wasn´t a brilliant idea. Never donated blood before, but the work of Dr. Beat Richner, the founder of the Kantha Bopha hospitals in Cambodia, saving several millions of children´s lives, offering treatment for free, exactly for free. And blood is desperately needed. I didn´t even know my blood type. – A rhesus positiv. The process took less than 30 minutes. As a thank-you gift you obtain a shirt, free Coca Cola, free iron and vitamin pills, free blood test. Shocking! I didn´t expected a value received. And such a nice one. Felt strange. I wanted to give something, a geegaw, not to get a cool shirt. So I rejected the Coke, I felt so uncomfortable, even if the nurse recommended warmly to drink, because of low sugar level. When Joost and me, blood brothers, were sitting on the bike after, we realized the well-meant offer, running blackly on energy. In average around 15 people donate blood every day, cambodians and foreigners. And it is still not enough. “(…) than I stopped thining and started to dream.” Dr. Beat Richner when he dedicated the first and reopened Kantha Bopha hospital 1992. My deepest respect.
So. Nightbus. Hell of a ride, always. Too old for that shit and I don´t have to challenge my wayfarer identity, collecting the worst rides on from floor to ceiling stuffed with chickens, babys and motorbikes vehicles, sitting compressed, bluring like the filling of a dumpling, for hours, to take a freaky adventurous record from it, struggling with bone-crushing pain the next days. Not worth. Joost was with me. I arrived at my hotel at 6 a.m. and of course the room was not ready to check-in. “You have to wait until 2 p.m., Sir.” I felt like a zombie and as I heard that, calculating, I have to deejay at Showbox at 4 p.m. and I need sleep, urgent, I suddenly had an intense desire to cut the receptionist open and lie in. I missed the comfort of an own apartment. I didn´t think. And know I was too tired to deal with, so I just stayed in the posh lobby, stretched myself on two chairs and gave sleep a try, hoping that I piss on the hotel´s policy, so they will put a bit more efforts in preparing the room as quick as they wanna get me out of the reception area. At 9 a.m. the receptionist handed the key on to me. I was happy like a pack of unicorns having an orgy on a rainbow. They rang me two hours later, over a noizy phone bell, down to the reception to pay the bill. Again, welcome to my zombieland! – Fine! So I don´t sleep, left the hotel for a walk and lunch. Phnom Penh is an amazing city. Vibrating. Covering backyarding oases. Skypscrapers shading aged weird architecured mould. Never saw such good roads. Miss my motorbike and the independence comes along with. The tuk tuk drivers are pretty annoying. Not because they ask, “Mr. Tattoo! Hey! Where are you going? Killing Fields? Boom Boom? Shooting Farm?” – “No Boom Boom, not on a farm and not with a farmer, thank you.” Because they don´t know me, another comfortable advantage of living at a place as long as you are well known, which takes in my case less than days – bless my beard and tattoos. I am excited to see more and if some corners will remind me to my first stay here, ten years ago. But so far, poverty has different faces, especially in a city like Phnom Penh, more frowning, dismissed the idea of hope. Miss my cheeky begging kids in the streets of Siem Reap, always good for a game. And all at once you find yourself back in solitude, cutting the strings, spreading the wings – “Hail Icarus!”.
Deejaying was a pleasure again. Hiding in the background, being the master of disaster and vice, basically being able to listen to my music, my taste of – I am not self-convinced dude as you might know, but when it comes to music, I can be pretty ignorant, rather releasing my overbearance. If you don´t like it, fuck your iTunes library! Showbox and its regulars are fabulous. Phnom Penh is soaked with western influences, inspriring a generation exploring, manipulating, transforming a traumatized cultural identity, packed with a punk creativity, creating space and empathy, inviting the possibility of a change. And lots of expats, who spread for sure more over the city than in tiny Siem Reap, concentrated in isolation, constructing a neutral, exchangeable, meaning global atmosphere of boredom. Showbox with its graffiti, paintings and rancid design in general is a place of a kind, located next to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Carla, one of the owners, pleased me after a couple of Hip Hop tracks to switch, because the music might rouse the gangs of this quarter. Mixed smooth back to Black Metal praising the ghosts. – Thanks Carla and Myles for the opportunity to listen to my music loud and fuckin´ uncensored. After we went to a bar called Blue Dog. Same like in Siem Reap, getting heavily wasted, with one difference in particular to Karma Bar, more than two people around me. What a stress! What next? Drowning my libido. Refusing the invitation for lovely company. Jumping on a tuk tuk, regreting my decision, cursing my disability, ritualizing my unfulfilled needs as a punishment, for an insane idea of shame. Instead of accepting and bring it down to the point, I am not interested! I won´t loose myself on being someone else. Even if sometimes it hurts, sort of kicking a ball against the wall and it bounces straight back cracking your cojones. Of course you feel self-inflicted and humiliated.
In front of my hotel tuk tuk drivers waiting, “Boom Boom? Smoke?” Last chance to exit. And I slayed! Stayed on the road, on my road. I missed you.