Unnamed Journal Volume 3, Issue 2 - Page 57

Their server returned after a moment with their beers. “I take your order?” She said. “Yes, please. I have a question about your Mee Kola: can it be made without fish sauce?” “Uh, yes,” said the woman, somewhat puzzled by the question. "It take longer, though. That okay?" “That's perfect. One order of Mee Kola, no fish sauce. I'd like the Chha Kh'nhei with eel, please." The server nodded, collected their menus, and vanished into the back of the restaurant. When she was gone, Ulysses took a sip of his beer and looked at Nehra. She smiled at him, and lifted her matching drink. They toasted silently and drank. Nehra made a face that betrayed she wasn't sure about the flavor of lager. “Nehra,” said Ulysses, “when we’re done here in town, I’d like to ask you why you’ve come here. Is that okay?” She nodded, her expression more serious than before. “It’s just that...well, I need to know the details of why you’re here and what you’re up to, if we’re going to keep doing whatever it is that we’re doing. All right?” Again, Nehra nodded in agreement. Eventually their food arrived, emitting steam and a delicious aroma. The waitress wished them “bon appetite.” The pair dug in with gusto. They savored the food in silence until they were ready for the bill. After settling up, Ulysses took Nehra on a brief tour of the parts of Siem Reap that he knew. After a few hours of walking the city, he asked her if she was ready to find lodging for the night, which she said yes to. Ulysses withdrew his remaining cash from his pocket and counted it. He only had thirty-seven dollars left, not enough for a hotel, but more than enough for a hostel. They made their way toward a place Ulysses had stayed the first time he had come to the city. + + + Ulysses and Nehra were shown to a room, by an obsequious chain smoking middle-aged man. Ulysses surveyed the room and made sure the door was locked and the blinds drawn. Then he looked over at Nehra