The Freak Show


After a quick refresh at the hostel, we went out looking for a place to have some dinner. Me and Aline were a little bit behind the rest of the group and, while we walking to rejoin the others, Aline got tricked into the infamous powdered milk scam. We were approached by a young mother, with a helpless look on her face, carrying an infant and an empty baby bottle: “My baby is hungry” she plead, “I’m not asking for money, just formula for my baby.” I suspected something fishy and I think the whole scene triggered off something in my subconscious mind (something I’ve read on the Internet or have seen before), but yet for some reason we took the bait. I went to meet the others while Aline went along with the scam. She went to the supermarket, bought a 8 dollar pack of powdered milk and gave it to them. I’m positive that right after Aline left, the girl returned the formula and split the money with the seller.

We had a quite dinner and a few beer without incidents, trying to comfort Aline after she has been cheated, and we decided to look for another place to hang out and party and cheer the team on. In Siem Reap there’re only two dancing clubs, “Temple” and “Angkor What?”, but both were quite snobbish and very loud and busy, therefore we agreed to pass them and look for a more private place with better music and vibe.

We came across this little bar where you could play your own music on a laptop and just a few people sitting around. The drinks started to flow, and it didn’t took long until and the atmosphere livened up. This place had a certain wackiness and we were there together with a bunch of odd characters, one weirder than the other.

The most prominent one was this dangerous looking American guy, with big muscles and tattoos, wearing a tight white tank, a white headscarf and sunglasses and hanging around with a local prostitute. He was so full of ridiculous american stereotypes that I couldn’t help myself teasing him a little. First he tried to convince me that people unfairly judge him by his looks: “I know I look like a bad ass but I’m tame as a lamb”, he was saying. Then he felt compelled to assure me he didn’t bring the prostitute, but she just followed him there: “I’m not that kind of guy. You know wha’ I mean?!”. Later he eulogized The US: “America is the greatest country in the world and no country can match its power”. Obviously, I didn’t agree with all that he said and I piqued him a little, and then he was like: “When things get tough you gotta kick some ass!” and “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do!”.

Later on more strange people had begun to show up: a lady boy, a drug dealer, an Australian teenager who stole the american’s call girl, an Italian very found on Romania (yes that’s strange), etc. As Aline said: “a fucking freak show”. We fired up the music and swilled countless beers and shots until late in the night. The rest of what happened there stays there!

Needless to say, we left the debaucherous party drunk and barely able to walk (at lest myself). I had some fried noodle from the street, which I threw up as soon as I reached the bathroom. On the way back the tuk-tuk driver was trying to sell us some weed, but that would have been obviously “much too much”, so we refused and went directly to bed. I don’t know about the others but I had a very rough night.

As morning arrived, the hangover kicked in, but luckily at the tropics you can use the fresh, miraculous coconut water as a cure. I added some electrolytes powder and I felt so much better. I needed to be in good shape because that day we planned to visit what we had left of the archaeological complex of Angkor, by bicycle.

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About Author

I'm a keen explorer, wanderer, traveler and photographer with a restless drive for new adventures, experiences and challenges. My mission is to explore the world, document it, and inspire you to do the same.

1 Comment

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