June 1, 2005
From an old journal:
June 1rst, 1993
Stung Treng, Cambodia
Last night we awoke to the sound of a woman screaming nearby. There was no electricity, no light but starlight. It sounded as if she was being assaulted or worse.
The racket if I had to describe it would be of a woman being sawed in half. Soon her screams were joined by the voices of other women. I was awash in the chill of pure terror. Despite every instinct to run in the opposite direction we (myself and the other men on bus garroted in a cheap guesthouse) made our way outside towards the noise up the steps of the other platformed guesthouse where the women were sleeping. A snake, an enormous one of at least 60 pounds, had fallen from the rafters onto the women's mosquito net and began writhing to free itself. The woman had been trapped and paralyzed with fear. None of this was apparent before a match was lit... upon entering the room we just saw two dark shapes struggling with manic energy. Finally a match was struck, the scene revealed & much shouting.
An old man deftly and with practiced precision did away with the beast with a quick sharp jab of a knife through the eye. The woman bruised, and almost mad with fear had been bitten several times, though the bites weren't poisonous she was hysterical. When the blood was cleaned she was left with just a few puncture wounds. By the time the excitement was over the sun was breaking, the snake had been skinned & gutted, and put into a pot where it boiled for two hours.
I was just served a bowl of the oily dark flesh. I think I will pass.