Pillars Fall, Beau Winds Up in Jail

Rico, an instructor on a Semester at Sea Voyage, writes a blog about the trip.
Here is a story about an unfortunate student travelern named Beau.

“What would you do? One of the students in the trip you lead gets a little silly and while running after a monkey, knocks down a pillar in an ancient Siem Reap temple. It starts a chain reaction that destroys several hundred years of civilization in a matter of seconds.

Poor Beau. Stuck in a Cambodian jail. All other 57 students made it back to Vietnam. Did the one thing you don’t do in a Buddhist country: mess around in a Buddhist temple. Bad things are bound to happen.

Or so the ship thought. You see, Beau lost his passport in Phnom Penh. He wasn’t sure where it was in the afternoon. He might have lost it in the morning at the hotel. Or he might have been pickpocketed the night before. Whatever, he was really stuck in Cambodia. It is one of the worst things you can do on Semester at Sea, losing your passport. Because you need a visa to enter Vietnam, and you need an exit visa to leave Cambodia, and because it takes a few days to get a new emergency American passport, and because it was a Cambodian holiday, Beau didn’t make it to the ship. It wasn’t that big of a deal, just an expensive pain in the arse. He’s an adult who can take care of himself; he would meet us in Hong Kong once the paperwork was straightened out.

But the ship didn’t know this. So we agreed as a trip to tell the story that Beau was arrested in Cambodia. We would be vague with the details, “I didn’t see it, but I think was climbing the temple to take a picture,” or, “I saw him pretending to be Sarah Croft earlier and next thing I know you hear this crashing sound.” But he had knocked something, and didn’t come back to the ship.”