He sat at the same bar each night drinking Ankor lager. He bought cans, but poured the contents into a glass with ice. This small gesture showed he had been in Southeast Asia long enough to adopt local drinking habits. That, and the fact he also spoke Khmer. The only night this week he didn’t show up at the restaurant was when it was filled with balangs. He doesn’t like being around westerners anymore.
As we watched the man with indistinguishable, but probably British, accent drink, we began to ponder why he became an expat. We had listened to him tell other travelers he hadn’t been home in decades, while also avoiding any personal questions. My travel mate and I decided he was up to something. We decided he may have left home after killing a man.
Tonight he engaged us to show us the drunken cicada on his table. This was our in. We joined his table, and began to interrogate. After talking for a while, and beginning to get comfortable, he started to open up to us. He told us about the south London gangsters he knew in Sihanoukville.
He also told us about the two years he spent with a Khmer girl, but didn’t share the ending of the tale, prompting me to ask in a joking fashion if he killed her…just to prod him a bit. He didn’t, and his gleeful way of telling how she went back to her village didn’t give me insight if he had a killer instinct. The man was good at saving face (or maybe he's not a killer).
As we left the restaurant, we still had unanswered questions. We knew when he left, but we still didn’t know why. Let’s just hope he didn’t catch on to our little interrogation, in the event our assumptions were true.