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Around The Sun: “They Love Me In Cambodia”

Steve Harrison tells of an unwelcomed customer in the Temple bar.

I guess America just happen to be the nation that these days we like to pick on the most.

We had a great night. The beer flowed and there was whisky aplenty. Next morning we were all feeling fragile. Phil and I were both almost in a trance. We watched a French girl as she peeled a pineapple. Every morning she liked to eat a whole pineapple. She told us she had been doing this for years.

Suddenly a very loud American came into the bar and started to introduce himself and tell his life story. Boy was he loud. He was a redneck from Louisiana and thought he was expanding America's world by being in Cambodia. He was so proud of himself. "They love me in Cambodia,'' he said.

He then discovered our friend from France. "Je parlez les frances trez good,” he announced, adding that he had a flare for languages. “Oh by ze way zat is not how you peel pineapple.”

He then offered to demonstrate how he thought the job should be done.

We instantly disliked him. Not only was he loud. He did not listen to a word of what anyone else had to say. He would top what others said by announcing yet again "They love me in Cambodia. They love me so much I have my own Motorcycle driver. He takes me everywhere because he loves me. Only charges US $20 a day.''

A Motorcycle driver usually earns $2 or $3 a day.) They loved him alright!

I finally got under his skin by mentioning Michael Moore and his book Stupid White Guys. I'm a social kind of guy but this Amerfican was pulling my wire a little too tight.

I called his driver over. I asked him if he knew a certain bar operated by a mad radical Republican American. He said he did. "Take your friend there,'' I said. "He will enjoy the atmosphere.''

So the Louisiana guy departed. But the phrase "They love me in Cambodia'' was still ringing in our ears for days and days.

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