Walking down the main street from our hotel in Phnom Penh to explore the area and find a place to have something to eat, we found the Asia Cafe, which was just a busy street side restaurant. Sticking to the anti-diarrhea rule: eat only at well visited restaurants, we sat down next to a long table of a happy feasting and drinking Cambodian bunch.
It didn’t take long for them to notice us and for one guy with some English speaking skills to chat us up. He started with the opening phrase ‘I’m sorry’ followed by a pause in which we approved of his apology for attention and then came the joke that he kept on repeating many times that evening. It goes like this: ‘Sir, you handsome, but lady…. beautiful! I’m sorry.’ The table was having such a good laugh every time that it had a contagious effect and did sound like the on and off sub laughs on TV comedy series :)
After Tomek had received many compliments about his looks and having exchanged ages, interestingly not names (the Cambodian bunch were about 5 years younger and won’t believe our ‘old’ age), they invited Tomek to make the drinking bond. The English speaking bloke said that drinking together would make his brother very happy, who was a drinking pro and gulped his beer down in one sip, afterwards proudly presenting the empty glass. It was a very laid back atmosphere and at the same time overwhelmingly strange fun.
In the end we even got a present: moist and bitter tasting peanuts in a bag, that we were made to try, or as he put it: ‘Eat. I don’t believe you eat.’ So we ate, he believed and everyone was happy :)
What a first night out in Cambodia!