Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Python, Kangaroo, Ostrich and Crocodile then off to Angkor What?

We headed to Pub Street in the center of Siem Reap with a few people we had met in our guesthouse including a few of the Cambodian guys that worked there. Pub street itself is an oasis away from the beggars and hustlers of Siem Reaps streets. It is closed at both ends to anyone who is not Caucasian, western, well dressed or prepared to bribe the police at the checkpoints. We passed the piano bar, reportedly favored by Angelina Jolie, who stayed there whilst filming Tomb Raided at Angkor Wat. A huge board outside advertising the fact, along with a list of punny cocktail names related to their five minutes of fame.
We found a restaurant for a barbecue dinner, and between us ordered python, crocodile, ostrich and kangaroo, all surprisingly tasty. After washing it all down with a few bottles of Angkor beer, we headed around the corner to the Angkor What? bar, a Siem Reap institution, advertised across Southeast Asia by tee-shirt wearing patrons.
We met up with Casey later that evening and danced the night away to some very western music. After leaving at 2AM closing, me and Casey thought that it would be a good idea to go and find some more drinks elsewhere. After wandering the streets of Siem Reap in a rather inebriated state we surmised that the only logical next step was to try our hand at one of the local casinos.
Having found one that looked good we duly went in and sat down at a blackjack table. We were the only patrons of the huge flashy 24 hour casino. The croupier came over and we put down 20 dollars each. The table was fitted with electronic screens and our 20 dollars showed up in the bank. We tried to place our first bets, but despite our best attempts the machines didn't seem to like it. we asked one of the waitresses and then the croupier to assist up in losing our money. To our astonishment nobody in this huge Casino spoke a word of English! Breaking into Charades didn't seem to work either.
On auto pilot, I did what I have been used to doing when someone doesn't speak English and immediately switched to speaking Korean. To the complete surprise of both me and the croupier we continued the discourse in Korean.
Unfortunately the staff seemed none the wiser as top why the machines didn't want our money. Getting bored with our best attempts to give the casino our money (as the only customers) we asked if we could change the chips back into money. Not a problem at all, within a few minutes the staff were wishing us a cheery goodbye. I suspect that that particular casino will not be in business too much longer!

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