February 26th, 2007 – by: jimcowdrill
My free accommodation was just a mattress on the floor in the upper room of a half-finished house, under a mosquito net. At half seven I was woken up by a construction work downstairs; shortly after I was woken again by a small girl rooting through some stuff in the corner of the room, as I lay on the bed wearing only boxer shorts. Oops.
Lazed about all day, on the beach. Pizza for lunch. As you sit and eat and drink, people keep coming along the beach, begging. Most of them are amputees. There are an awful lot of landmines in Cambodia, laid by the Khmer Rouge in their guerrilla resistance years. This is a country with a seriously grim recent history. It’s up to everyone’s conscience whether to give or not; I generally did. On top of the amputees, kids march up and down the beach collecting empty bottles and cans to collect the miniscule deposits on them; a couple of these hung round staring at my pizza until I gave them a slice. Off they wandered, one of them holding my pizza carefully in his outstretched palm.
Met Deats in the evening. I was expecting a great big bastard with a broad Leeds accent but he was almost mild-mannered compared to my image of him, though with a pretty foul mouth. Spent the night drinking draught Anchor beer on the beach with him and Julia, his girlfriend from St. Petersburg who called me Jimbachka and taught me swear words in Russian. Agreed to meet again a few days later.