Hectic Cambodian streets calm down before the sunset

I arrange a BMX and anticipating the following morning visit to the Halo Trust headquarters I decide to check up on another place of interest. Nearby a friend of mine runs a hostel called ‘Guesthouse no. 10’. Upon arrival I find myself in the middle of Cambodian fiesta. As I sit on a woven mat, a thick, friendly griming to show his overlapping teeth owner’s brother-in-law hands me an ice-cold can of dark beer ABC.

I feel more comfortable. The perceptible smell of different dishes scattered on the mat encourages me to try what is being served. We start a long discussion and in the meantime everyone has another couple of beers. Guesthouse has been much neglected by a former occupier over the past few years . The standard has worsened and the rent has been lowered from $700 to $400 in the past two months. Now the owner takes control of the premises himself. He plans to renovate rooms, plaster and paint walls and in general, raise an overall standard. He promises that the room prices would rise only slightly.

Cambodian children fishing

So we sit, just chatting. I notice a big cockroach walking down a counter and then on the floor just behind us. The guesthouse owner grabs the giant cockroach and lazily crushes it with his hand until a crack is heard. Then he checks up on the content of my beer, reaches for another one and giving me a new can he ensures “after the renovation there will be no more cockroaches here".