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“Hey man, wait, you look strange, never see people like you, where are you from?” Gosh, one more tuk tuk driver…
Phnom Penh seems to suffer massive attack of an excessive supply of drivers. – “I came back here to Phnom Penh, Siem Reap too many tuk tuk drivers.”, another driver briefed me before. It is low season, basically worst for them, everywhere. You can hardly enjoy your walk, they following, even if you slap through alleys and shortages. Not that I wanna hide, but it is amazing where they sometimes emerge, flawy submarines, drunken captains, rusty planks. They instruct you not to trust other drivers or bums. “They put sometimes marijuana in your pockets.” – Whatever for, wouldn´t mind anyway. One guy was persisting on my back, telling me the story, after I let him know I lived in Munich, that his sister will go there at the end of september to work as a elderly care nurse. He wanted me to visit his house, where he lives with his second wife, to cook for me and to talk to his sister and mainly to his mom, who is very anxious about her daughters live and future. He hoaxed me he is from Thailand originally, where he actually lives with his first wife. In fact, he looked far from Thai, more Philippine, maybe he assumed my eyes are just there for decoration or getting pierced. I shared my (wrong) phone number and told him we can meet tomorrow. – Fuck you! What you expect, asshole?! There are many ways to deal with poverty and I wouldn´t even blame someone after I was bamboozled. If you are hungry and have family, you have to rip, but pull your flip-flops up, this is so hilarious, racketeer! They are not very well-respected anyway, ruining the reputation of honest businessmen. And sort of they are criminalising by their illegality other and in for sure many cases even outlawing. Phnom Penh has changed, as expected, and not in fact for better or good. Maybe not more worse. How you wanna distinguish poverty? How many kilos of dirt are sticked to your body? How many days you didn´t eat? If you can still operate or only be able to crawl in mud, half naked and covered with traumas? In Siem Reap the drivers are mainly dressed proper, because they can afford to conform. – True, it´s a city with maybe nowadays nearly two million inhabitants and all of them have different expactations, but the majority wants something very basic: survive.
“I am from Germany.”
“Oh Munich!” – There is a microbrewery in the city called Munich.
“Where do you go?”
“I just bum around, enjoy Phnom Penh. You are from Phnom Penh?”
“No, but I work as a tuk tuk driver after my main job. I am a policeman. I need second job for my second wife.” Meaning he has two.
“So three jobs, three wives?” He is laughing. We are standing in front of the Royal Palace, near to the area, where all the rallies in the last months took place.
“You look very weird.”
“Thank you.”
“You like shooting farm?” – Please not the same shit. I expected him to show me the same same chart about the famous touristic spots in Phnom Penh like everyone does.
“I don´t like guns and I am here for business.” This is more a phrase than serious and usually it doesn´t work anyway. They seem not to listen and keep on trying to convince you, do-or-die, they are good businessmen anyway, and offering “(..) just for one hour a ride around the city, bong”, so they have a couple of dollars to buy petrol and food. But not the policeman.
“Ok, I see. You like kickboxing? Today is a fight. You like to go there? Ticket for free.”
“Thanks, no, I am busy.” I am actually not, but I am getting bored of this trust-and-error game. I more and more feel like a documentalist and I am fine with that. More freedom, less Boom Boom, Bam Bam, Bang Bang or any other BB´s. I give myself an A+ for this behaviour. We will see for how long I can resist and sustain…