Dealing with Foreigners in CambodiaNovember 13, 2006
Yes foreigners, they are every-bloody-where here in the sweaty rice bowl that is Cambodia, you can not turn around without banging into some strange alien looking freak. But worry no more; Lord Playboy has compiled a few hints and tips for Cambodians who come across those strange white folk who seem to be overrunning Phnom Penh.
After all this time, it looks like these foreigners are here to stay. Not necessarily the same foreigners, as some of them seem to just come here and work here for just a few months until they have finished writing some very important report and then they leave so that some more can come and write another very important report about the previous very important report.
So what can Cambodians do to make things easier for these visitors to the country? Transport A lot of Foreign Countries do not have motodops, instead they have to congregate at ‘certain places’ and wait for a big car (known as a bus) to come to them.
This car will not take them where they want to go, but will just follow a road and only stops in other ‘certain places’. From where they can walk to where they want to go. This causes foreigners to become confused when they come across such a marvellous transport system as 50 motodops standing outside Raffles as they do not understand. So when they wander off looking for a ‘certain place’ to wait for a bus you should just follow them slowly repeating ‘sir, moto, moto, moto, sir’ every two or three seconds.
They might not understand the first few times, so patience and perseverance might be needed. Smile It must be a little unnerving for all these pale skinned people being in such a different, exciting, cosmopolitan city as Phnom Penh, so remember to show them how friendly everybody is. When you see one on the street, just go right up to them and grin at that. Show them how observant and interested you are by touching them and poking any bits of them that look different – big stomachs are especially good to poke, prod or even rub.
If you speak a little bit of English, remember to ask them ‘Hello, what your name, where you go, where you come from, sir’ If your English is especially good you will already know that the above should be spoken very fast, almost as one word………….‘Hellowhatyournamewhereyougowhereyoucomefromsir.’ Remember that saying ‘sir’ is a polite thing to do, especially with the ladies.
Food. After close study it has been determined that most of these foreigners fall into two groups. A strange breed of sickly looking thin people who never, ever, eat any type of meat – yes, it is true, they not eat meat, I was told that some never even eat fish, but that must have been my friend from California joking with me.
The other group seem able to eat anything, provided that it is cooked in something called ‘Lard’. Both groups do not seem to understand that green unripe mango is much tastier than yellow ripe mango; some do not even eat it with chilli and salt! Another thing that we have to teach them is that shards of bone in food is very, very, good.
Why one of them even seemed confused about the crushed eggshell sprinkled on the top of his fried rice – how strange they are! Prahok is not very well known outside of Cambodia, so if you have a whitey dining with you, remember to make sure that he tries it, preferably the strong, raw, version of it; make sure that he dips his barbequed beef deep into the semi-fermented, semi-rotted fishy paste before tasting.
But most of all, remember that as all people with white skin are actually millionaires they will be more than happy to pay for everything and give you money just because they can.
Loke Stee’ou aka Lord Playboy’s local cousin