Journey with Space Club Girls Part 2 (Final Episode)

Melancholy of Cambodia] 

 It was a fulfilling day. However, I realized once again that out of the four of us, Joe is the only one in his 50s who will soon reach his 3s. Therefore, even on a schedule with breaks in between, the level of physical fatigue is completely different from the other three.
 When I arrived at the hotel, I was exhausted. It was definitely a fulfilling day for her and she felt very satisfied, but the T-shirt she was wearing was sweaty and stuck to her back, and the heat made her head dizzy. Her first wish is to take off her t-shirt as soon as possible and jump into a bath full of water, after which she knocks down several beers in quick succession.
 Daisuke makes a seductive proposal that seems to see into Joe's heart. Instead of taking a shower, I decided to take a dip in the pool, and I decided to order room service and eat my meals in the comfort of my room.
 It's not a bad proposal, or it would be more accurate to say it's what I want. Joe and his friends' room was larger, so after a quick swim, we decided to meet up in Joe's room.
 Joe rushed Sawako back to his room, threw his sweaty T-shirt into the laundry box, and took a quick shower. I quickly changed into a swimsuit without wiping him off, and he was the first to jump into the pool. He dives to the bottom of the pool to cool himself down and then pops his head out. After repeating this several times, he finally felt comfortable, but his core was still warm from today's sun.
 Following Joe, Daisuke, Rui-chan, and Sawako jump into the pool. Louis is wearing a beige bikini and Sawako is wearing a light blue bikini. Although the sun had already set, the pool was lit up, and the lights cast an enchanting reflection on the two of them. Then, Sawako performed the butterfly again in response to Joe's request. Westerners eating at the poolside restaurant also cheered. After taking a dip, the men went to the poolside bar and the women took a bath in the room's bathtub, and the two disappeared into Joe's room.
 I got out of the pool and sat down with Daisuke at the bar counter right next to me. We both ordered beers and toasted. First, Joe thanked me for today.
"Thank you for staying with me all day today! Mr. O's guide was wonderful. I think the fun would have been completely different if I hadn't asked you to accompany me."
``When I hear that, it makes it worthwhile to attend.However, Mr. Joe was introduced to me by Mr. Osamu, and he is also my senior at school.''
"We're a lot older, but did you meet Osamu at an alumni club?"
"That's right. I am indebted to Osamu-san."
“My alumni association is a little weird, for better or for worse.”
"I understand what you mean. However, I have benefited from many things. One of them was getting to know Osamu-san."
 After that, we talked about Daisuke's career.

 After graduating from Akamon, Daisuke became a career official and apparently worked mainly in Asia. He studied abroad in France, where he studied Cambodian language and cultural history. As a result, he ended up being in charge of a department deeply involved with Cambodia for a long time. He was in charge of important work at a young age, and seems to have found it rewarding, but he grew tired of human relationships and felt the limitations of his role as an official, so he chose to move on to a different world. After retiring, he stayed here and started his current company. 
 His background is completely different from Joe's, so it doesn't make sense to me to say that he has the limits of being an official. No matter how you look at it, he's on an elite course, and he'll be entrusted with a responsible job from a young age, so it'll be rewarding, Daisuke answered Joe's question, choosing his words carefully.
 "That's true, but the results don't necessarily turn out the way I envisioned them. But if it's good for my boss, it's appreciated. I don't like that, I don't like it."
“Hmm, I kind of understand why you quit your job as an official, but isn’t it unique for an elite like you to start a business in Cambodia?”
“People say this a lot, but for me it was a natural progression.I was deeply involved in Cambodia and had relationships with Cambodians that I could even call close friends, so I couldn't imagine starting a business anywhere else. It was.”
“The story is a little different, but there are still many people who had the same experience as Mr. O under the Pol Pot regime, right?”
"Many people over 50 have experienced something. I once heard from a former member of a royal family. She is over 60, and one day she was suddenly taken to a farm. I heard that she had never held anything heavier than chopsticks before. When I heard her story, she seemed to be modest about her experiences. What's amazing is that the Pol Pot regime banned the use of all the tools of civilization.
"Hmm? What do you mean?"
“Trucks and tractors are obviously prohibited, but farm tools such as shovels and hoes are also prohibited.In other words, farming is basically manual labor.One of the reasons for the increase in deaths is this manual labor.Farmland You're digging it up with your hands, so you're going to get hurt."
"That's a terrible story."
"That's right. There are still many people living in Cambodia who have had that experience. That's why compared to back then, there are many people who think that just being able to eat is better now. That's what bothers me."
“By the way, is it easy to do business in Cambodia?”
"The answer is no and yes. There is a lot of inequality and injustice, and like other Southeast Asian countries, there is a culture of bribery. But to be honest, low labor costs are attractive, and you can do a lot if you give bribes. It is also true.”
“Is the political situation stable?”
``It's a bit delicate. Rather than being stable, the truth is that it is being forcibly stabilized.There is no freedom of speech in a one-party dictatorship.An opposition party means an anti-establishment group, so the moment a party is formed, I was arrested. You wouldn't call something like this stable, would you?
 This year, the position of prime minister, which he had held for nearly 30 years, was transferred to his son. His son rose from the head of the military to become prime minister. Cambodians can join the Cambodian Economic Club by paying $50, or 7500 million yen at current rates. Once you become a member, you will be given preferential access to national information and benefits. You will also receive various benefits. It may be the same in any country, but it's a system where the rich get richer. It is said that the number of members is 1000, which means that 1000 people control the Cambodian business community. The head of this club is the new prime minister's father, the former prime minister. He and his son control the military and the economic world.
 Both my Cambodian friends and I feel very disappointed in this situation. But they can't raise their voices and protest. After all, Cambodia is said to be the North Korea of ​​Southeast Asia. Anyone who attempts to protest publicly will be immediately arrested. Even though I started a business in Cambodia, my outlook is that the future is not bright at all."
“Then, what is the charm of Cambodia?”
``First of all, in my case, this can only be described as a compatibility without logic.The food is also delicious.Of course, compared to Japan, there are many inconveniences.The infrastructure is not as good, and power outages are common. I can't say that Phnom Penh is safe, but that doesn't bother me at all.Also, it's the relationships I've built since my time as a government official.For better or for worse, Japanese officials are from Southeast Asia. As a result, I am proud that I was the most polite person in dealing with Cambodians among other government officials. I have Cambodian friends who I call my best friends. They are my treasure.
 On the other hand, many European and American officials are overbearing, and many still think of this country as their own colony. That's why they can't believe the relationship between me and Cambodians. They clearly say, ``It's no good if you show them even the slightest bit of kindness.'' In a way, it's refreshing. At the same time, whenever I heard such words, I would look down on them and think, ``These guys still think they are the true suzerain.''
 However, after experiencing a lot of things, I now realize that what they say is true to a certain extent. On that point, I've become so engrossed in Cambodian relationships that I can't get out of them. Well, this is my way of doing things, so I can't do it like them."
 Daisuke is much younger than me, but he has a lot more experience than Joe. He listened to every story with great interest. The more I heard about him, the more I realized that he was an elite man with a promising future. As mentioned above, Daisuke is studying abroad in France. So when he quit his job as an official in his 30s, Daisuke said with a laugh that his boss asked him sarcastically, ``How much do you think I spent on you?''

[Kan story at the poolside bar]
 Since we've had a lot of hard talk, I'd like to talk about something softer now. If it's between Han people, it's only about women.
"Louis-chan is a very attractive woman. We seem to get along very well. I'm a little jealous."
"No, I think I'm compatible with her, in many ways," Daisuke says with a sly smile.
"I guess (lol). When did you start dating?"
``It was five years ago, right after I quit my job as a government official.I introduce myself as my ``girlfriend'' in public, but we don't think of each other as lovers. I don't bind her, and she doesn't bind her either. Well, we're kind of close sex friends."
"That's not ideal (lol). I'm getting more and more jealous. But, looking at you guys, it doesn't really seem like you're just sex friends. You're always flirting, and you're taking pictures together everywhere." Take pictures. They even make a common album. I've never heard of any sex friends making a common album other than sex."
``No, we won't lose if it's a gonzo movie,'' he said, laughing, and there was a pause in their conversation. Then, Daisuke's face became a little more serious and he started talking again.
"Mr. Joe, did I tell you how I met her?"
"No, but you met her while she was working in Japan, right?"
"It's about the location, but I met her on a dating app."
"I think it's surprising, but I'm not really surprised. There are a lot of people who use it. As I'm sure you've heard from Osamu, that's where I met Sawako."
“But things have their limits.”
"Are you that heavy of an app user?"
"I think it's quite a bit. Louis literally has the world at his disposal." Is this a slightly joking confession? However, Daisuke smiled sadly.
"If you're talking about that, wouldn't Daisuke be the same? Osamu said he's quite the slut (lol)."
"(bitter smile). I won't deny it. But if I were to have a true lover, I'd have to have Yamato Nadeshiko. Sakura is my ideal."
"What kind of cherry blossom is Sakura?"
"Of course, she's Tora-san's younger sister."
 I almost burst out laughing (actually, I burst out a little). I thought it was a joke, but Daisuke wasn't laughing so it didn't seem like it.
"Please don't laugh."
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry. But I can't help but laugh when you say that Sakura is ideal at your age, even if it's for our generation."
 For a while, the conversation turned to cherry blossoms or Yamato nadeshiko. Joe's opinion is that Yamato Nadeshiko is "an illusion created by Japanese men from the Showa era," but Daisuke is adamant, saying, "She definitely exists, like Tora-san's younger sister." In the end, the discussion went on a parallel track, and Joe ended the conversation by saying, ``Let's go back to the room.''

Naked socializing]
 When I returned to my room, the items I ordered were lined up on the table. In the center are two bottles of champagne in a wine cooler. But neither Sawako nor Rui-chan are there. Then Sawako sensed our presence and called out to us from the bathroom.
"Right now, I'm taking a bath with Louis-chan. Come here, both of you. Oh, and don't forget to bring me a glass of champagne." 
 When they went to the bathroom with Joe holding champagne and Daisuke two glasses in each hand, they were surprised to find both of them naked in the bathtub facing each other. The vertical bath made of Cambodian granite was large enough for four people to stretch out.
"Take off your swimsuit to take a bath."
 I wouldn't hesitate if I were with Sawako, but it would be embarrassing if Louie-chan found out that Joe himself was small. But I wasn't allowed to go against Sawako's orders, so I placed the wine cooler at the edge of the bath and sat down next to Sawako, covering my front with my hands. Both Rui-chan and Sawako were bathing half-length, so their busts were clearly visible, but it was at least a relief that Joe's smaller busts couldn't be clearly seen in the bathwater. Daisuke hands each a glass and pours champagne. And cheers. Drinking champagne in the bath with beautiful women always tastes better. So the cup went on and soon the first bottle was empty. I drank not only beer but also champagne on an empty stomach, so I got drunk quickly. When Joe gets drunk, he tends to lose his diction, but when it comes to English, his pronunciation becomes smoother, and communication is much smoother than in Japanese. The four of us enjoyed the conversation, thinking to ourselves, ``Was my English really that good?''
 I was happy that Sawako enjoyed today's tour. He kept repeating the wonders of Angkor Wat, and Louie-chan also agreed, which made Joe feel relieved. Louis also surprised Joe by saying, ``I was surprised by Mr. O's story.As someone who works at a hotel in Cambodia, I am ashamed that I don't know anything about the history of Cambodia.I want to learn more.''It also surprised Joe. Louis-chan is not only an intelligent woman who is at home in the world. I feel like she can understand that Daisuke will fall in love with her.
 In any case, it was thanks to Daisuke's attendance that everyone was satisfied, and also thanks to Mr. O's guidance.
 In the bath, sometimes the feet of Daisuke's or Rui-chan's, I don't know, touch. Each time, Joe was so drunk that he could spontaneously say "opps!" in English. In front of him, Daisuke and Rui-chan are kissing repeatedly, and Sawako's hand is reaching for Joe's crotch, and if things continue like this, there is a possibility that something unexpected will happen. So, once the champagne bottle and the four people's glasses were empty, Joe called out to them as they exited the bathroom and moved into the living room.

[The party continues in the living room, and...]

 After getting out of the bathroom, we changed into bathrobes, sat down, and toasted again. As I savored the food in front of me, I continued my conversation.
 The conversation is basically in English, but Louis sometimes mutters in Arabic (probably), and when talking to Daisuke, he often uses French, his best foreign language. Her girls' talk is mostly Mandarin. Judging from the expressions on their faces when they used Mandarin, it was clear that the content could not be translated into English, French, or Japanese. We also wanted to continue talking about Han with Daisuke in Japanese, but it would be inconvenient for Sawako to hear us, so we continued to talk about Yamato Nadeshiko, choosing our words carefully.
Then Sawako
``Don't speak in Japanese, speak in English,'' they say, putting aside the fact that they use Mandarin and replacing it with Chacha.
The incident occurred when Joe modestly retorted, ``You can't translate Chinese stories.''
 "Daisuke, Otoko no Hanashitte, Donna Hanashiyo!"
Although his intonation was a little strange, Louis managed to approach me in Japanese. When she saw Daisuke, she froze and couldn't seem to get the words out. Because for the past two days, we've been talking in Japanese that Louie-chan can't hear, which means she understands it all. No, for Daisuke, it's not just about the past two days. It seems that Daisuke really didn't know that Rui-chan's Japanese ability was at a very high level.
"Louis, do you understand Japanese?" Daisuke managed to say, clearly shaken.
"Daisuke, do I really care? Sekai womatanikakel onnayo! ”
 This comment revealed that Rui-chan's Japanese ability was at a higher level than he had imagined, and made Daisuke freeze up again.
 According to Louis, he can understand Arabic (several varieties including dialects), Mandarin, Mother Tongue, English and French at a native level, and Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. It seems that her level of French has improved significantly since she started dating Daisuke. And Japanese was added to his language studies during the coronavirus.
 This is a story after Joe's journey is over, but is it Louie's confession? As a result, the relationship between the two became much closer. After that, when Daisuke returned to Japan, the two met in Tokyo, and the engagement ring was shining on Louis's left ring finger.

[The next morning, go back to Angkor Wat]
 After finding out that Rui-chan's Japanese level was quite high, we started conversing in basic Japanese. Joe's Japanese becomes questionable when he gets drunk, so she doesn't remember much of what he said after he started speaking in Japanese. Furthermore, since all four of them had been active since the morning, they quickly became sleepy, and before the day was over, Rui-chan and Daisuke returned to their rooms. Joe also thought that this was a good thing, and before Sawako attacked him, he became the person in his dream and saved Joe himself, who was screaming from being overworked day after day.

 The next morning, I quietly got out of bed to take a shower before sunrise so as not to wake Sawako. When we were leaving last night, I asked Daisuke to show me around Angkor Wat and other temples that I hadn't visited yet. The women wanted to have a beauty treatment, so we had to do it separately.
 When I went to the lobby, Daisuke was already waiting. I got into the taxi that Daisuke had chartered and headed to the royal palace via the ticket office just like yesterday.
 Today again, foreign tourists are waiting for the sunrise in front of the royal palace pond. Unfortunately, it was cloudy again today, so I wasn't able to take any postcard-worthy photos. However, Angkor Wat in the early morning is still the most beautiful view. Approximately 1000 years ago, when it was first built, it was a golden palace, so it must have been much more brilliant than it is now, captivating people.
 In the 16th century, Cambodia came under Thai rule and the capital was moved, leaving it in ruins. Then, in the 19th century, it was rediscovered by French explorers, and its existence became known all over the world. The French explorer was named Henri Mouot and wrote a book called ``His Journey to the Kingdom of Indochina''. Joe had skimmed it in advance. He describes Angkor Wat as follows.

"Looking at this temple will crush your soul and leave you with no imagination. All I can do is look at it, admire it, and bow my head; I can't even utter the words. This is because, in front of this building, which seems to be unprecedented, there is no way to praise it in conventional terms.

There is nothing to add to the words of a French explorer over 160 years ago. Joe totally agrees. And Henri Mouot continues.

“What kind of mechanism was used to transport these countless huge boulders from a remote mountain, polish them, carve them, and then lift them back up to a much higher place in this building? Thinking about this, and looking at the relics that are the result of the advanced culture of their ancestors, I can only assume that the modern Cambodians are descendants of the Vandals (barbarians of the Roman era).

``Omitted'' The following description is probably the arrogance of the invaders, even considering the times. At the same time, at least Joe, who came from Japan, is probably also one of the conceited invaders. What Joe had been thinking about since yesterday was how to understand the difference between the high level of Cambodian culture in the past and the slums that are currently spreading around the country.

Traveling seems to turn people into pseudo-philosophers.

[Temples around Angkor Wat]

 After enjoying Angkor Wat early in the morning, Daisuke said, ``There's a restaurant I'd like to take Joe to,'' so we headed to a local food restaurant. Pork bowl with pork on rice. It's a simple dish of pork marinated in sweet sauce and served on fried rice, and comes with pickles and soup. Follow Daisuke's recommendation and top with a fried egg. It's seasoned to suit Japanese people and can be eaten in no time. Delicious!
 After filling your stomach, get in the car and tour the temples around Angkor Wat. First up is Angkor Thom, followed by Ta Prohm and Puliakan. Unfortunately, we had limited time so it was a hectic tour, but all of the temples are as magnificent as Angkor Wat. If Angkor Wat is a place of prayer, the others are also places where people actually live. Although many of them are Buddhist temples, they also have strong Hindu elements, making them quite different from Buddhist temples in Thailand. In any case, the essence of Khmer culture can be seen in these buildings.
 I am reminded once again of the high level of Khmer culture. Although the heat is the only drawback, I think Sirimap is a recommended destination.

[And to the Akira Landmine Museum]

 We didn't have much time, but Daisuke said there was something he really wanted to show Joe, so he brought us to the Akira Landmine Museum on the outskirts of Sirem Ap.
 As many of you may know, there are still countless landmines buried in Cambodia due to the long-running war with Vietnam and civil war. Mr. Aki Ra, director of the Aki La Landmine Museum, is involved in awareness campaigns to ban landmines and to remove landmines.
 Aki Ra's career has been full of ups and downs. He was separated from his parents shortly after birth under Pol Pot's regime, and by the time he could remember, he had become a child soldier. It is said that he was born in 1973, but since he does not have a family register, his exact age is unknown, and his name also changed with each unit change. Since this museum is primarily supported by Japanese people, his name was changed to Japanese, Mr. Aki Ra.
 During the war, Mr. Aquila was responsible for setting landmines for Pol Pot's army and sometimes for the Vietnamese army. Of course, this caused many victims, but Akira shrugs that he had no choice but to survive. After the war, they built this museum as a way to at least atone for their sins, and they continue to work every day to remove landmines. Orphans and children who lost limbs due to landmines live together here.
 The Akira Landmine Museum is a simple museum consisting of assembled barracks, and the exhibits are mostly mines that have been removed and the fuses pulled out, so it can't be said that there is much to see. However, Mr. Akira himself is an important living witness. His story was full of things I didn't know, and it made me feel gloomy.
 Joe believed that landmines were a thing of the past. I thought that under the Treaty on the Ban of Anti-Personnel Landmines (Ottawa Treaty), landmines could not be made or used. But here he learned that this was not the case.
 The 164 countries that have ratified the Ottawa Convention may seem like a large number, but many of the countries that often send troops into conflict have not even ratified the treaty. So is America, so is Israel, so is Paleshina, so is France, so is China. Neither Russia nor Ukraine, where the conflict has been going on for more than two years, have ratified it.
 Ukraine is one of the world's leading agricultural countries due to its fertile black soil, and its wheat is famous for its high quality. Before the war with Russia, wheat was an important export for Ukraine. The supply has temporarily stopped due to the war, and the current situation is that the supply is still far from what it used to be. As a result, there was a wheat shortage around the world, and the price of wheat rose, which inevitably led to an increase in the price of bread all over the world.
 Unfortunately, many landmines are said to be buried in Ukraine's farmlands in place of wheat to prevent invasion by the Russian military. For the time being, Ukraine's high-quality wheat production will be limited, and it will take a considerable amount of time to recover. Even if the war ends, as the example of Cambodia shows, it will take time to remove them.
 Mr. Akira told Joe about the current state of the world, and as expected, it got Joe thinking. The only saving grace is that Akira's young wife is pregnant and is due to give birth next month. I left the Landmine Museum praying that the next generation would live in a landmine-free world.

[That's the end of the journey after all]

   Joe's flight was in the evening, so we still had a little time to spare, but we hurried back to the hotel. 
 As usual, I was drenched in sweat. Although the check-out time had passed, the hotel was kind enough to let me use the room and bath. There, he turned on the water to a temperature close to that of cold water, and Joe slowly soaked in the bath to cool off his body heat. Then, as expected, Sawako, who was supposed to be moisturized after her beauty treatment, comes in.
 Joe himself, who can hardly be called functional, reacts in his own way when Sawako's rocket-shaped breasts are shown in front of him. However, since he wasn't doped, he was confident that he wouldn't be hard enough to insert it. However, against his will (?), Joe himself, who should have been slow to react, stands up due to Sawako's wonderful oral skills. Then, realizing this, Sawako sank into Joe herself. Sawako then showed off her amazing hip movements, making the hot water slosh so violently that even Hyotanjima turned blue.
 If this happens, Sawako's voice and Joe's voice will become louder (shame), which is the law of nature (?), and in the end, with Sawako's cry (?) of "Please fill me up!", Joe ends up, and 3 It was the end of a 4-night trip (5 shots to be exact). (Sorry, I didn't use any sanitary utensils. Who am I apologizing to?)
 It's hard to believe that he was captivated by Khmer culture and thinking about the current situation in Cambodia, but it's only right to end an inappropriate relationship with erotica. Is that no good?

[And summary of the trip]

 This seems to be a myth, but Joe thinks that the origin of the word "travel" is "trouble." Modern humans were born in Africa and traveled around the world over tens of thousands of years. It was a journey that spanned generations, and it must have been full of hardships and troubles.
 Even in modern times, traveling is not without its share of troubles. However, the troubles that Joe refers to do not necessarily mean bad things.
 For example, this trip brought him much closer to Sawako, but Joe thinks that this was also a kind of trouble. This trip would not have been possible without some allowance (about two months' starting salary for a typical office lady), but I don't think there are many women who would go along with an old man's fantasy for four days.
 The trip was enriched by the help of our guides, Mr. I from Vietnam and Mr. O from Cambodia, but Joe says it was a problem because this was also unexpected. In particular, I met Mr. O again when he came to Japan for training, and we became even closer. Mr. O seems to think that sending his girlfriend's son to study in Japan is an option. At that time, Joe also promised to help in any way he could and shook hands firmly.
 However, the biggest problem on this trip is probably his relationship with Daisuke. Even though we are almost two years apart in age, we became like friends of the same generation. Although he's better than he used to be, this is a rare thing for Joe, who can't be called a sociable person. If possible, I would like to continue to cherish this relationship.
 Daisuke was born and raised in Tokyo, but his ancestors are originally from Kochi. Is Daisuke, whose company is doing well, living deep in the mountains of Kochi because of his family? He built a luxurious cottage.
  One day in March, Joe was invited there as well. The cottage is located along a river that is said to have the highest transparency in Japan. The beautiful deep blue river offers a variety of river activities, so we enjoyed kayaking and surfing on the first day.
 On the second day, I tried canyoning for the first time. This activity, which originated in France, is not yet well known in Japan, but it can be said to be the ultimate river sport, where you walk along rocks along a rushing river, sometimes jumping into the river, and surrendering to the flow. Jumping into the river from a 5-meter rock is tough on my old body, but it's a fun and enjoyable experience that I'm sure will become a habit in the future.
 I have to add that Daisuke was with a woman who wasn't Rui-chan. He is a French-Canadian I met while studying abroad in Paris. She thought that she and Rui-chan would continue straight towards their goal, but it seems that the world-travelling bastards don't reach their goals that easily. I would like to end this column by secretly confessing that Joe was accompanied by a woman who was not Sawako.

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