Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Bong Jon The Tuk-Tuk Driver.

My mate Jon drives a Tuk-Tuk.

This is a story Jon told me the other week when I saw him sat in a guesthouse looking really confused.

See Jon had picked up some people from the bus station that morning.

He thinks they might be Americans but maybe Australians or Irish.
Anyway he's brought these 2 Barang back to the guesthouse and checked them in.

Incidentally this coincided exactly with the 30-minute window when a family member from another city, who had been visiting Phnom Penh for the past few days, was covering the checking in desk. Keys had been given but passport numbers had not been written down.

The Barang left their luggage in their room and rejoined Jon for the usual tour of S21 and the Killing fields.

Jon drove them to the museum and parked his tuk-tuk opposite the old school building for the hour or so they were in there.

As they walked out of the building the Americans or Irish or Australian or who ever they were, recognised Jon straight away and got back in for the drive to the killing fields.

Now Jon admits he was actually quite embarrassed that he hadn't recognised them until they were sat in the back of the tuk-tuk. So he took extra care on the way to the killing fields so as he to put in a bit of staring at them in the rear view mirror.

Yu know, so he could remember their faces.

Anyway they got to the killing fields and he parked up to wait as his barang passengers wandered off chatting amongst them selves about the incredible atrocities they'd just been witness to in comparison to all the other atrocities they'd seen in their 8 weeks of travelling. And about exactly how lucky they were to come from a place like Australia or Island or America or where ever.

So Jon sat in his tuk-tuk and waited.
And he waited, and waited.

And eventually after a couple of hours he figured, these Barang should be back out here by now.

By the time he'd been waiting nearly 4 hours, Jon had reached the point of shooting his hand into the air every time a barang walked past and shouted, "Hey, hey it's me." Hoping that even if he didn't recognise them, maybe his passengers might recognise him.

Gradually he got less enthusiastic and eventually he got just down right bored. It must have been about 10 a clock at night by the time he decided they weren't coming back. When he'd arrived it was barley mid-day. But now the gates were being locked. He was the last Tuk-tuk kicking about. There was also clearly no more barang anywhere around here. So he went back to the guesthouse.

That's where I saw him. The out of town relative had gone back to his city on a bus about an hour before and nobody else knew anything about any Irish or Americans or Australians either for that matter.

There was no luggage in the apparently unused bedroom and the key was in the lock hanging on the open door.

It's obvious to me what had happened but it was funny to see how confused Jon was about the whole thing.

He blames Ghosts.

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