Debugging in Cambodia

I was fortunate to have spent my 40s back-packing mostly solo in 5 continents… Dive into this funny excerpt taken from my memoir where I motorcycled alone through Cambodia. Enjoy the brief escape!

I continued south along the highway for a while to solidify my experience and allow my eyes to absorb the soothing greenery. The tent villages seemed deserted so I stopped to sneak a peek at the simple dwellings before driving around the area some more. When the daylight began to fade, I decided it …was time to head north.

Within 30 minutes, I was bombarded with insects hitting my face and neck; some even landed underneath my shirt. My attempt to drive one-handed and manage the infestation failed, so I pulled over once again. A small, middle-aged man in flip-flops who appeared eager to make a sale yelled, “Gas-o-line?!” Repeatedly as he and his family approached me.

“No, bugs! Bugs! I replied with an intensity that matched his. The family watched until they understood what was happening, then return back to their home. After debugging myself I replaced my helmet and clenched the clutch. Just before I started the engine, however, the man returned with a flashlight. He removed the gas cap and shined his light into my bone dry tank. Suddenly I remembered that I had been warned about the broken fuel gauge, but I had forgotten that detail given the excitement of my full day.

“Gas-o-line!” he reinforced with delight.

“Yes, gasoline,” I confirmed with a chuckle before paying the happy man and venturing into the night. I soon realized that there were only a few remaining houses before a ten-mile stretch of complete desolation without streetlights or houses. As I rode back into Chau Duc, I wondered who was more grateful; me for the hidden blessings of the bugs and the friendly, little man or him for making a sale and helping me out.