The Adventures of Pickpocket Pam and Driver Dan

So, it turns out that when your Gap Adventures guide warns you that there is a risk of people trying to rob you while driving by on a scooter, they aren’t kidding. To prove this point our fearless leader Shane subjected himself to just such an incident.

At about 10:30 in the evening, while walking home from dinner to the hotel, Shane met two new Vietnamese friends, we’ll call them Pickpocket Pam and Driver Dan. While driving past, Pam tried to stick her hand in Shane’s pocket to grab his wallet. Fortunately Shane not only realized what was happening, he actually did something. Where I would have, judging by past history, curled up to protect my pizza (ok, there was no pizza, but it’s my only frame of reference), Shane protected his wallet while grabbing the back of the scooter. The sudden drag on the scooter sent driver Dan and his quick fingered sidekick flying. Apparently not able to recognize a lost cause when they saw one, the less than dynamic duo continued their attack rather than making a run for it. The result? Shane’s foot through the engine, rendering the scooter scrap, and both Dan and Pam spending time in headlocks. Unfortunately Shane wasn’t without injury as Pam bit him, that’s right, I said bit him, while in the headlock.

Adding to the evidence that our new anti-heroes aren’t going to be winning Nobel prizes anytime soon, the whole incident took place in front of a police station. Shane was able to call them just by yelling and both were arrested. While my limited understanding of the Vietnamese justice system suggests a small bribe will leave Pam and Dan free to try again, some solace can be found in that they are out the cost of a bribe, need a new bike, and suffered a minor ass whooping at the hands of a vertically challenged Irishman.

Despite all that, and a three hour stay at the hospital to get shots for the bite, Shane was only a few minutes late meeting us for the transfer to the airport for our flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The hotel in Siem Reap was only 15 minutes from the airport and it was quite the shock when we arrived. It’s gorgeous! All of our other hotels up until this point have been great but this one definitely stands out. We normally save a nice hotel stay for the end of the trip but I suspect our hotel on the beach in Thailand will look like a hovel in comparison.


Tara Angkor Hotel, Siem Reap

With no planned activities, we spent the afternoon by the saltwater pool before going into town for dinner at Moksha. With a 4:30 am start coming, to catch the sunrise over Angkor Wat, bed followed shortly after.

Two lessons today. For the criminals out there, think twice before messing with an Irishman. For us travelers, tight shorts are our another example of fashion protection. Just imagine what tight shiny shorts could do!

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