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Off the Rails in Phnom Penh


ubonr1971

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Has anybody read 'Off the rails in PP. Into the dark heart of guns, girls and ganja' by Amit Gilboa.

 

Its a brilliant book and hard to put down. Its based on the authors time spent in PP during the naughty 90's. I'm only up to page 55 but it seems that Cambodia was clearly the wild west back then

and perhaps not a safe place to be.

 

The author focuses on history of Cambodia, his dealings with the local farang teachers in PP and their romantic, drug taking life. He talks about the corrupt government and officials and other issues.

 

Overall, its a funny book to read and I strongly recommend getting your hands on a copy.

 

cheers

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I read it some fifteen years ago and when visiting Phnom Penh ten years ago met a woman working for an NGO trying to stop child prostitution who replied when I told her I'd read it, "you can imagine how well that book goes down here" followed by some derogatory remark about how she thought the book should be banned from sale.

 

I don't remember all of it although it was a short book but I do remember that it served to glorify child prostitution which I found alarming.

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8 hours ago, piersbeckett said:

I read it some fifteen years ago and when visiting Phnom Penh ten years ago met a woman working for an NGO trying to stop child prostitution who replied when I told her I'd read it, "you can imagine how well that book goes down here" followed by some derogatory remark about how she thought the book should be banned from sale.

 

I don't remember all of it although it was a short book but I do remember that it served to glorify child prostitution which I found alarming.

Ive read the book and concede that it does report issues of child prostitution. But it is deemed to be 'field research'. 

 

Perhaps it raised the issue enough for the nanny state NGO's to clean up and close down the $2 brothels. Thus the book was a good thing for Cambodia. 

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  • 2 months later...

I enjoyed it and was traveling in Cambodia quite a bit at the time. The writers used aliases for some things including a very popular girly bar. I knew one of the main characters and taught with him in Chiang Mai. He was cheap as hell and they that mentioned in in the book. His name was J*** and he was from New Zealand (the book said Australia), but the writer called him something else. I have not run into him for 25 years. 

 

There were numerous brothels with (Vietnamese)  girls in their early and mid teens back then. That was the child prostitution angle, if I remember correctly. Apparently, hard drugs were rampant, but I was not interested at that time in my life, so don't know much more about them. 

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  • 6 months later...

I remember reading the book in the 90's. One bit that sticks in my mind was the description of one of the 'hore mongering, dope smoking teachers who contracted Aids. Life in Phnom Penh was like travelling along a railway track..... when suddenly the track runs out.

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