Friday, 13 November 2009

Friendly locals.

Now the vast majority of local people I've met since I've been here
have been warm welcoming and friendly.
Today I just met my first local dickhead.

Check it out.
So Grant and I are walking down to our usual Internet cafe when Grant
points out that there are several others on the way and that maybe we
should try one of them.

As chance would have it the first one we look inside has two spare
computers and one of the other people from our hostle sitting in it.

Seems like the obvious choice.
The young lad behind the counter looks up from his phonecall and
points at the 2 spare pcs.
We sit at them and begin to get involved.
Grant's seems to be doing fine and as I glance across at his screen
facebook is happierly pushing it's so called news feed down his
throat. A glance back at my own reveals only a frozen home page. A
quick shake of the mouse confirms lack of computer response.

I called out to the guy and try to get him to help me remedy the
situation. He looked up at me through the shadow cast by the peek of
his cap, moved his phone from his ear shouted "I can not fix" and
returned to his call.

Grant had finished what he needed to do and offered me his computer.
As I moved seats the lad behind the counter started shouting "hey you
no cheat me, pay for computer, pay me 300 rhl now or you have problem
with me!"

Now 300 rhl is not a lot of money infant it's about 6p or something
stupid like that.

I said "this computer not work, I share this one, we pay together."
Kid was having none of it, thinking I'm trying to cheat him. He
started saying that I'd done this before earlier today. I tried
explaining that I had never been there before and he calls in some guy
from the back.

By this point i can see several potential outcomes of this situation.
Most of them bad.

I got Grant to go get Nam from up the road to help us translate and
maybe defuse the situation.
Several other Barang sat at various computers around the room also
tried to help but both the lad and the slightly older guy who'd
emmerged from the backroom still didn't seem to understand what I was

As Nam and Grant walked in I was attempting to sort it out by giving
the older guy 10,000 rhl. He looked at Nam then at the computer thus
realizing for the first time that this was all over 300 rhl.
He said something to the lad in Khmer then gave my money to Nam and
said "ok forget it but you never come here again."

As we left the other Barang all followed suite. I walked away feeling
a lot less safe than I've been feeling for the rest of the last week.
This was reinforced about 5 minutes later as the lad from the Internet
shop walked up the street dead-eyeing me the whole way. I get the
impression his boss sent him home for scaring all the barang away.

See the thing with that is, in Asia apparently the worst thing that
someone can do to you is make you lose face. So I basicly just did the
Asian equivalent of shitting on his pillow.

Also it turns out his boss is somwhow connected to the police so
that's a bonus.

And did I mention the shop is the first thing you come to after the 2
extreamly dark, ghetto-rape alleys that make up the only way in or
out of my guest house.

On another note I've also been told that if I want any kind of job
then I have to cut my hair.
I think I might do that tomorrow.
Might just make me look different enough to get employed or at least not
to be recognised/murdered.

Sent from my iPod

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