Have you ever had something strange happen to you? Something that caught you so unawares that it just happened and you were left thinking, “Did that just… No, I’m dreaming…?”
I had occasion to go out of Phnom Penh and spend the day visiting garment workers in Prey Veng. It was a long day and apart from being unbearably hot it was quite boring for me as I don’t speak the language and my colleagues were talking to the workers about trade union laws and their human rights in the workplace in Cambodian.
Eventually, we headed for home after a full day driving from factory to factory during the day. It was dark when we arrived back in Phnom Penh and we were happy to eat in a restaurant together after a gruelling day.
Great meal, first time I ate duck’s feet and was really surprised. They were fabulous, succulent and the (I don’t suppose you can say meat really but whatever it is) fell off the “feet” and melted in your mouth. A real delight, believe me!
We also had cow’s brain which I’d had before and didn’t really take to but here it was just perfect. I think it helped that the restaurant was very dimly lit.
Anyway, to get back to the real point of this post, it had been one of those days where from very early on you wanted to have a pee but, well, it just wasn’t opportune during the day and the build up had been fluctuating between an urgency and I can handle this for a good many kilometers.
On arriving at the restaurant, my first port of call was the toilet and after having established generally where it was I strode out, a man with a purpose! I followed the low lit signs and found a urinal perfect for the task in hand.
Then, two hands clasped my shoulders! Thumbs expertly dug into my aching neck. The stream had started and wasn’t about to stop so my assailant was my master. I wish I could describe the pleasure of the massage the unseen person gave me. There was nothing sexual about the encounter, just a professional service for a jaded traveller after a long day. He removed my glasses and sensitively massaged my temples. Just the right intensity of pressure. Just the thing to make me relax. All from behind, all with such a confidence and expertise that I allowed myself to follow his demands.
And then it was over! A pee can only last so long, even after a whole day’s accumulation. He was about thirty I guess, not unpleasant visually very good at massage. 2000 riels was the change I handed over. He was happy, I was happy. If wtf ever had a sense, this was the moment.
I rejoined my colleagues and recounted the events and they agreed, yes, 2000 riel was not unreasonable. That is in US dollars, 50 cents!
I still have to return to the same restaurant and see if it’s a regular occurrence. It was… well, as good as Duck’s feet.