A while back I wrote about the worst go go bar in Bangkok. Now I’ll tell you about the worst hostess bar in Phnom Penh. There is some real competition in that regard so you know this “winner” has to be a real loser.
I think I have been to every hostess bar in Phnom Penh but they have been opening so fast and furiously lately that I can’t be totally sure. Even knowing that I was surprised when I spotted a bar on Street 13 near the Royal Museum called “Wonderful Night”.
In fact I wasn’t even sure if it was a girlie bar at first. It had the tell tale chairs out front and tinted glass doors but it was so out of place that I had to wonder if it wasn’t just a regular bar that happened to want some privacy. The first time I passed by I made a mental note to visit again later. The second time I passed I was with a girl. That time I saw some chicks sitting out front in short dresses so I knew it was indeed a hostess place.
Since I was already with a chick I didn’t want to stop in. The next day I came back to visit on my own. Boy did it suck, and not in the way good bars do.
What’s that smell?
The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the distinct smell of doo-doo. Now it is not out of the ordinary for a place to smell like shit in Southeast Asia. I’ve even looked at super expensive new condos on Embassy Row in Bangkok that distinctly reeked like raw sewage. Apparently this has something to do with the way they put down pipes in SEA. In other words, it’s fucked up like much else in the region.
I’m not the kind of guy that likes sitting around smelling shit but I have been known to hold my nose in places with hot chicks to hold me down. I’ve even laid on some stained beds that would have put Felix Unger into anaphylactic shock. But this place wouldn’t have anything to keep me inside even if it smelled like a bed of roses.
The bar was new enough looking but who cares? No one goes to hostess bars to check out the tile on the floor or the pictures on the wall. At least no one I would care to know.
When I visited Wonderful Night there were five chicks inside. Four were behind the bar and the other was sitting in front of it getting groped by some fifty something year old American dude with a Harley Davidson fetish who looked like he never smelled pussy before.
The other four chicks were giving the guy all of their attention because he was buying them all round after round of drinks. I know this because I heard them talking about it. Plus for the five minutes I was in the bar I already saw him order two rounds!
I can’t blame bar girls for trying to make money. That’s what they do. So I sat there getting no attention but didn’t really mind. For one none of the chicks were good looking. I just wanted to check the place out. So I was happy to have my drink then leave. I would’ve forgotten the place entirely except for what happened next.
I got about half way done with my drink before I decided there was no reason for my to subject myself to the torture of breathing in bad smells and watching a guy drop a hundred dollars for the chance to hug an average looking chick. I probably shouldn’t even have ordered a drink but I didn’t want to be a dick. The owner or manager or whatever she was didn’t have the same desire. She was quite happy to be a dick.
I called out a “cut loy” which in Khmer means “check please.” The same scatter brained broad who reluctantly took my order after I called her over went through the intense process of writing up a bill for a single drink. At that time a big headed chick who was well passed the best-used-by date decided to suddenly peal herself away from moneybags and come over to me.
“Why you not finish drink?” she asked. “It’s okay, don’t worry” I said, doing my best to give a half-assed smile per local custom. Then she started again.
“What wrong with you?” she asked in a demanding tone. Trying to get out of the place as soon as possible I just said “I don’t like the taste.” She shot back with “taste better where you come from?”
“Sure,” I said. “So go back where you come from” she yelled out to me. Totally stupid and rude. The kind of thing you would never expect from a Khmer lady only a few years ago. Now it’s becoming more and more common like tattoos, chicks getting sloppy drunk and smoking cigarettes and the sudden appearance of fat people.
Gladly most of Cambodia is still not like that but if the egg head behind the bar was anything to go by things are changing for the worse. All is not lost. Not hardly. I can still avoid shit hole dumps since there are so many other places to spend my money. So that’s exactly what I do.