Here’s an email I wrote to a friend a few months ago. He told me to post it as a blog, but I didn’t think it was appropriate. However, enough time has gone by and I’ve witnessed enough unsavory behavior in this town (mind you, not all behavior is unsavory here), that I feel comfortable using this as the paragon of all things unsavory, and can now back away from reporting anything else that may be deemed…icky. Names and circumstance has been changed to protect the [questionably] innocent.
I think the strangest thing about Cambodia is witnessing the secret lives of men who, at their homes on the other side of the world, are very straitlaced.
Case in point: my new friend, Honda, is the bartender at Mustang Ranch. He’s 19 years old, which actually means he’s 19. In Cambodia, you’re 1 year old when you’re born. So, technically, I’m 27. You’re age is a reflection of the current year you’re living.
Anyways, Honda is gay. He’s not what we call a “lady boy” here, but he’d be at home at an interior design convention hosted by Lady Gaga.
Honda has a 35 year-old boyfriend who lives in Austria. I said, “Bull shit.” Then the owner of Mustang Ranch and his girlfriend quickly confirmed this claim. This man not only sends Honda a substantial amount of money every month, but buys him extravagant gifts. A frequent sight around here is Honda watching a Thai movie on his iPad during the bar’s downtimes. The iPad is complete with a cover that has a built-in keyboard.
During his last visit, Honda took the Austrian to the airport to say good-bye. The Austrian’s final words to Honda were, and I quote because I had him repeat it a few times because it was so disgustingly cute, “Honda, remember that all of those other boys are just using you and are only temporary. My love is forever.”
I asked him, “Why doesn’t he just fly you out of here to live with him?” He answered, “Because I am too young to get a passport and visa.” Or something like that. Then, after a pause, he said, “Plus, he still has his wife and kids.”