Phnom Penh, Cambodia 1997 The land border between Thailand and Cambodia was closed for foreigners at that time. A lot of travelers were taking a boat from Sihanoukville, Cambodia to the Cambodian island of Kohkong. From here they would take a small motor-boat to Thailand. They would enter Thailand illegally but went to the immigration office in Bangkok and got their entry stamp. They were just told not to do that again. This was going on for years. I applied for a Cambodian visa and attempted to do this the other way around, from Thailand to Cambodia. I arrived first by motor-boat on Kohkong island where they checked my passport but didn't give me an entry stamp. They said I was going to be given one in Sihanoukville. When I arrived there by boat from Kohkong island I was told I wasn't going to get my entry stamp here either but I would get it in the immigration office in Phnom Penh. I arrived there and the immigration office was closed for 4 days due to Chinese New Year. I did go back every day to check but it was always closed. The very first day I found it open I went in and explained everything but was told to go back the same way I entered Cambodia. When they asked me why I waited so long to come to the immigration office I told them I came every day but I always found it closed. They called me a liar, grabbed me and threw me in jail. During the day I got interrogated, a French and English translator present, like I was the biggest drug trafficker in South East Asia. I spent the rest of the day and night in jail and was driven the next morning back to Sihanoukville and put on the boat to Kohkong Island. On this boat were a few foreigners going to Thailand. We arrived in Thailand where police was asking for our passports telling us we are entering Thailand illegally. I told them I didn't go to Cambodia and showed them my entry stamp for Thailand which was still valid and also my visa for Cambodia which was not stamped with an entry stamp. So according to my passport I had never left Thailand. Upon my return to Bangkok I bought a flight to Cambodia and after landing I took a motorcycle taxi to my guesthouse and on route passed the jail where I was held. At the end of that same year I am staying in a guesthouse in Damascus, Syria. Another traveler starts asking me where I am from and where I have traveled in the world. I told him I was from Belgium and after I mentioned Cambodia as one of the places I had visited he tells me that he had cycled through Cambodia and heard of a Belgian that was thrown in jail. That was me I said. Amman, Jordan 1998 My $5 watch that I bought in Vietnam the year before got stolen in the guesthouse I was staying in in Amman. Tanger, Morocco 1998 Approached by two men with a knife hidden in their coat pocket asking for money. When I said that I had just arrived and only carried traveler’s checks they told me to go to the bank and exchange some. I did go to the bank and explained everything to the teller who told me to use the back door and get a taxi out of there. I never had traveler’s checks on me. Basse-Santa-Su, Gambia 2000 My Walkman got stolen out of my room, I had left the room unlocked for a few minutes. After I asked the locals in the guesthouse if they had seen anyone they said they knew a guy who they had just seen leaving the guesthouse. We went to his house and explained everything to his mother. An hour later the guy who took my Walkman was held at the police station. I was told to stay for a few more days until the judge would come but I didn't want to. Therefore the thief never got charged. I was happy I had my Walkman back. Bamako, Mali 2000 Attacked by a guy who pulled my money belt from my neck. It had only a few dollars in it. It took me a second to realize what happened and then fought the guy and got it back. He then left. Quito, Ecuador 2008 My four year old, $300 camera and memory cards, batteries and charger were stolen from my small daypack. I am almost sure it happened in the guesthouse. Fortunately I only had a few street shots on it from Quito. I bought a new camera and accessories.
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