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View Kathmandu to Kuala Lumpur 2011 on Chris Parsons's travel map.

1. Nepal: The Wise Guys

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"Hey Larry."
"Hey Frank, how's tricks?"
"Doin' ok thanks, Larry, but to tell the truth, there is somethin' buggin' me."
"Oh yeah?"
"Yeah, it's these funny lookin' paleskins with their big cameras. I'm gettin' nervous man, think they're snoops?"
"You mean like this guy over here, Frank, pointin' that big ol' lens at your face? He don't look like no snoop to me."
"I don't like him, Larry. He keeps gettin' closer, jumpin' over walls even. He needs to show a little respect."
"He sure does. He needs to know who he's dealin' with here."
"Yeah, we got protection, don't he know who Hanuman is?"
"We're untouchable, Frank. We're a sacred animal, don't he know?"
"We never had this problem with the locals in this valley, Larry."
"Well I got news for you, Frank. You think these paleskins are bad? Well, things are gonna get a whole lot worse. You know who's coming next?"
"No, who?"
"The Chinese."
"Oh shit. We gotta get outta here Larry."
"I hear ya Frank."

2. Cambodia: The Angkor Crew

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"Hey buster! You gotta be macaque to join this crew, and you sure as hell ain't no macaque. We got prime territory here and we ain't movin'. Those goddamn tourists, man. They go ape for these temples and Angkorian shit, and we been working them over for years. We got a neat scam goin' here. The tourists gotta come this way to get to the temples, so we get guaranteed business every mornin'. All we gotta do is keep an ear to the ground. When the first tuk-tuk comes, we get ourselves down to this sunny rock by the moat. It's a nice place, don't get me wrong, but we ain't here for no sunbathin'. We wait till they get close, then perch our skinny asses on the rock and look like they just happened to catch us unawares. Dumb fools! Always helps to bring along some kids. The tourists just can't help themselves, they go bananas for our babies. The tuk-tuks screech to a halt and they pile out and start clickin' and snappin' with their cameras and phones like their goddamn lives depended on it. And here's the neat part: we're just the decoys. Some of the heavy guys stay back on the other side o' the road behind the stoopid tourists. They come down outta the trees and head straight for the bags. The tourists always leave their bags on the ground. Like I say, they're dumb fools. But the heavy guys are brave, man, the bravest in our crew. They got real balls. Quick as a flash they get lookin' through the bags. People that come to these parts always got some nice shit with 'em. Yeah, it's stealin', but the way I see it, if those tourist fools are that stoopid, they deserve what they get. Ain't they always saying we so clever? Well you gotta be clever to survive on the street. We ain't the only crew workin' these parts."

3. Vietnam: Doin' Time

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"What u lookin' at? Huh? Is it the pants? It's always the pants, ain't that right? Ain't you never seen a monkey with red pants before? Jesus, you need to get out more. Look what they did to me - stuck me in a goddamn cage. All because of the pants. I didn't choose these pants, you hear me? I didn't get no choice in the matter, and now I'm doin' time for a crime against fashion, or somethin'. They don't call it a prison, they call it a rescue center, but it's all the same to me. Sure, the food's ok, and I ain't the only one in this predicament, but how they gonna rehabilitate my red pants? Paint 'em black? It's all screwed up, man!"

Posted by Chris Parsons 02:31 Archived in Cambodia Tagged cambo Comments (2)

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