It was back in August 2012 in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Almost 3am and people slowly dispersed from the famous backpackers’ heaven – Pub Street. I am one of them, alone and drunk. So I walked out from Angkor What?! bar and down the street, like 10 meters away from the bar, I saw an old man (not so old but old enough) hugging a little girl that selling roses along the Pub Street, forcefully. The girl was like trying to get away from his grip. I came nearby them and told that man “dude, she is just a little girl, let her go.” And he told me to fuck off so I just fucked off. After walked about 20-30 meters away, I overheard the girl screaming on top of her lung, I turned around and I saw the man’s hand already under her knee-length skirt. Surprisingly no one cares about that. No one stop the man. No one come to help the girl. Not a single traveler that roamed that street, not even a local. That pissed me off. I walked back, walked really fast and landed my fist on that man nose.
And everything began from there. Really ugly. His nose was bleeding really bad, broken. He punched me hard on my face, straight to my mouth and crooked my front tooth. My mouth bleeding really bad as well. I totally have no idea where else I hit him but one thing for sure, I broke his nose and his dislocated his jaw. Oh well… And the street brawling kept on going and no one care but it didn’t took that long before two police men came and grabbed me and him and threw us in a separate police mini-truck and straight to the cell. Shit.
In the police station, we were placed in different lock-up next to each other. Not sharing with any other inmates tho. And we still kept on screaming to each other until the police officer on duty told us to shut up and told us that we have to wait until the representative from respective embassy come and “rescue” us. 5:30am and I was pretty weak, sleepy and in pain.
6:20am and the police officer on duty came near to my cell and released me. I was like “why?!” and outside of the police station, I saw that girl and one old man (her uncle) talk to another police officer. The girl saw me, smiled and the first word that came out from her mouth was “thank you miss for saving me”.
I asked the police officer on how about that paedophile? He said, it not gonna be easy for him. “You might easily bribes the police in Cambodia for drugs, traffic or small offences but when comes to sex offence especially related to kids, no, he’ll be there a little bit longer”.
The rest of it … history…
Note: Sadly in Cambodia, child prostitution happens because it is one of the poorest country in the world. It is much disturbing when you realize the pimp of those unfortunate child prostitute are their ownn flesh and blood (father or mother or even both). I used to work with an NGO that dealing with (saving) children that involve in child prostitution so I begging you… any of you (especially male, of course) that going to Cambodia, please have mercy to these kids. They are just tiny little girls that know nothing, they don’t even know their body yet. If you feel “sorry” for them, just buy whatever they offers you (roses, bracelets, chewing gums, etc) but if they ask you a creepy questions like “do you wanna sleep with me?”, look around carefully, they might under their pimp surveillance. Alert authority if must.