Fear and loathing in Cambodia (29.06.01 - 06.07.01)
Part three: Selected excerpts of my conversations with Gunter
These are selected discussions and small talk that Gunter and I
had before we would doze off in the evenings.
Peng: Why travel budget when you can afford five-star luxury?
Gunter: Nowadays, I go for the worthwhile deal. In the first class
setting, you are confined in a capsule. It provides you with more
than what you need. You dont get to mingle with fellow travelers
and exchange information like you would in a guesthouse. I used
to do budget when I was younger (he meant in his 50s) when its
challenging and worthwhile to explore.
Peng: What do you think is the extent of the effects of the tourist
dollar to a country?
Gunter: The difference between the affluent tourist and the poor
here in Cambodia has to meet somewhere, and most of the time, its
the drugs and sex and the touting where we would converge. The girl
that was pestering me, she said, But you are not helping me?
I just bought some postcards from another child, but Im not
here to help you. Im not here to solve the problem. Its
too big a problem to solve. In Bali, the argument is: Make
my day, make the first purchase. It gives me luck. Im
not interested in buying just for the sake of giving you good luck.