A Failed Attempt

Tuesday night, we had our first experience with Cambodian home security systems. We were sleeping soundly when suddenly, we were awakened by the most terrifying abnormal human screaming. It probably sounded more terrifying because it woke us straight up and we had no idea what was going on. My first thought was that someone in the house below us had died, so I jumped up out of bed thinking I needed to run down and help. Then my second thought was that it could be a lunatic running around outside, and there was no way I was leaving my securely-locked house - especially since the yelling was so loud it sounded like someone was on our balcony screaming.

So the screaming stopped, and we just looked out our window. We could see our landlord's family wandering around in the courtyard, looking sleepy and not-so-alarmed. So we tried to go back to sleep, as it was about 12:30 a.m., but all I could think of was finding a lunatic or a dead body on my balcony in the morning.

So when the sun rose and I'd has some caffeine, I wandered downstairs to ask our landlord what had happened. He started chuckling as soon as he saw me, and told me a "jao" - or thief - had been caught trying to climb over the fence last night, right around this spot.

The screaming we heard was the son's attempt to scare away the thief and make everyone else aware of his presence. If he was trying to incite fear, he certainly did it to me!

But in seriousness, we are so thankful that he didn't do any damage. From our neighbor's story, it sounds like we weren't the first house on his hit list, but definitely the least successful. Thank God for his protection and for the guard's powerful lungs.