|Clean and oiled weapons SBC :)|
I paid the taxi driver $100 even though he said the cost was $40. This was because he had taken me on a 6hr trip to Bangkok, slept in his taxi overnight and then picked me up in the afternoon to bring me to Cambodia ... another 6hr road trip. l thought he deserved it.
As the taxi sped off l followed the border guard to the border post. This wooden thatched 'building' could've come straight out of a Rambo movie. The inside was dimly lit but l could see 3 or 4 other guards in there. l could also see quite a number of AK-47's propped against the wall. l was asked to sit down at a table and then was offered a coffee and something to snack on whilst he took my passport to his desk and made a phonecall. The other guards came over to me and in broken English tried to strike up a conversation. l offered them a cigarette which they gratefully accepted.
As we 'chatted' l realised the situation l was in. Here l was at a border post that doesn't exist on google maps because it's actually in the jungle so you can't see it, no-one knew l was here, l had no visa for entry to Cambodia and l was carrying approx $1400 in cash (average wage at that time in Cambodia was $14 a month). This actual border post was only used by locals as only they knew where it was, foreigners certainly did not use it or even knew of its existence.
So l stayed there for about half an hour as they enquired about my life in England, what l was doing in the casino at Koh Kong, my family etc whilst telling me about their lives.By this time we were on first name terms as all had introduced themselves to me. This friendly conversation came to an end as their attention turned to the sound of an approaching vehicle. lt was the taxi that the senior border guard had requested from the casino l was going to when he had phoned them. l said my goodbyes, left them 2 sleeves of cigarettes and was on my way along another dusty road that did not 'exist' ... the locals called it the Campaign Trail. l had not been searched or interrogated and had been treat with courtesy and offered refreshments.
Fast forward to my return to Doncaster UK from the EU. The UKBA 'border guards' held me against my will for over an hour, refused me entry to UK despite having a British passport, would not give me their names or ID numbers, were arrogant, rude and dismissive, would not tell me why l was being held, tried to steal my cigarettes and refused me a glass of water.
Makes you proud to be British, doesn't it?