(Originally written in 2003 in Laos/recently revised)
I met Harry in a basic ‘restaurant’ in what was then the small town Xan Neuau in the east of Laos, close to the Vietnamese border. He was a big man with short blond hair parted in the middle, blue eyes, and a square jaw. He was a little overweight but certainly not fat.
He was sitting on his own at a rickety wooden table near the open front of a local bar/restaurant sipping a beer and gazing at the traffic: bikes, buffalo pulled carts, a few motor bikes, the occasional motor car.
It was near sunset and the jungle covered mountains on the horizon had turned a deep green, almost black.
I sat down at his table because I didn’t have a choice. The other tables, further back inside, were occupied by locals. We started chatting.
Little did I know that I was going to be there for much of the night, listening to one of the most disturbing stories I had ever heard from any human being……