Lies, Lies and Aeon Mall

Posted on by Pedro Milladino


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aeon mall

 

Like many of her neighbours, Cambodia has the somewhat strange (to whiteys) culture of ‘saving face’.  What is perceived by an Asian of any age, gender or rank as a perfectly rational way of maintaining dignity, others from not around here might construe as a shameless out-and-out lie, not just a harmless half truth to pad out a CV, or saying something to avoid having your balls hacked off by an angry woman.

Of course, the rest of the world has had porkies shoved down its throats since the year dot. Politicians lie to us, the media lies to us, estate agents, salesmen, even the internet, with get-rich-quick schemes from deceased African princes, 100% legit techniques for making your Tommy Todger into King Dong and hot and hornygirls who want to chat live with YOU now- all churning out more whoppers than the combined annual sales of Burger King.

How about the corporate lies?  Those scions of big business who used to peddle fibs like smoking Woodbines cured asthma, who claimed fat kids have nothing to do with processed fried stuff, who fiddle with scientific facts and who claimed Enron’s books were ‘pretty much in order’.

The amount of bullshit spun by the advertising cockroaches of Cambodia is more comical than malevolent, with spurious claims of yoghurt’s previously unheard of ability to fight cancer, fortified wine to give libido a boost, and the cellulite destroying and acne busting potions and lotions. Hell, even blokes in skirts huskily whisper they have ‘Best pussy for you, baby’.  Don’t even get me started on lucky wot-nots- that’s a 7×7 digit, 168 minefield, navigable only by red string on days recommended by a pre-paid fortune teller. A few weeks ago, a restaurant meal doubled in price, as the staff changed the menu with Tippex, as I was eating.

Now the two planets of international consumerism and shoddy knock off Cambodialism have finally aligned, bringing the citizens of this fledgling nation the 3,456th thing it actually needs- a fully operational church of capitalism that would have Salath Sar turning in Anlong Veng grave (if the tyrannical nut-job hadn’t been cremated).

Yes, AEON Mall has proved to be such a massive hit since it opened in July that I’ve avoided it like one steers  an elderly aunt showing primary stage symptoms of Ebola. Then, through boredom, curiosity and something to do with a four year old on a visit from the provinces, it was decided to throw caution to the wind and check out ‘the mall’.

Personally, I’d rather eat my own face than go shopping, especially in an over-lit, over-airconned porthole to hell that is a western style mall.  Childish hissy-fits in H&M could explain some of my failed relationships with women, along with my inability to stand up after 7pm, along with incoherence and dribbling at the other half’s family get-togethers (something that’s quite acceptable in the Khmer provinces).

It was a holiday to commemorate the passing/birthday/coronation of the old king/queen/king queen/royal cat (the details escape me) and so the place should have been packed.  It wasn’t.  A relief for me, but maybe not for the bored sales staff, surrounded by piles of clothes costing a month’s salary, which they could probably buy off a cousin in Kandal province for 1/18 the price.

aeon escalator

Business seemed slow. There were people walking around looking at things (if looking at things isn’t an official national sport, like sleeping and eating/talking about rice, then it’s a pretty serious hobby), but the lack of shopping bags betrayed the lack of business.

To pass the time, I chuckled at a few poorly translated English gems and did a retracted whistle at the prices of things on offer.  Then the lies commenced.

“94% of babies fall asleep within 1 hour on the self rocking baby thing”, it proudly announced on a big sign, next to an $800 self rocking baby thing, in the baby things shop.  Maybe not an outward lie, but in my limited understanding of the workings of babies (sleep, eat, shit, cry?), it sounded like misinformation.  To say that 94% of babies will crap their nappies and wail within an hour on the self rocking baby thing would be just as accurate, but not really a dynamic driven sales approach.

aeon baby

Hungry, our attention turneded to a special offer:  a satisfying can of cold Sprite/Fanta/Coca-Cola with a generous serving of chips, a bargain for $1. The catch was in the details – only valid when ordering an overpriced crepe – because sweets and fried potatoes go so well together.  The order came through- a rather underwhelming pancake, a small espresso cup of fries and a thimble, filled with ice and the smallest whiskeyesque shot of soft drink.

‘It a lie’ my better half informed me, the wise, ever observant sage that she is. I’m pretty sure, as a devout Buddhist, she is a reincarnated Yorkshireman, who hates spending money on anything other than food for 20 people and weddings. “You go bar….again???’”

Not to be put off, a few dollars down and still hungry, we returned to the Kids Playzone  so the little miss could have a run around.

MONDAY – FRIDAY = $6 the sign on the window read in dual language, blue lettered glory.

SATURDAY-SUNDAY = $8

It was Wednesday.

“Eight dollar” the girl behind bullet-proof (for a reason?) glass muttered.

‘But….but…but…..’

A Khmer conversation followed.

‘Today is Wednesday’ I spoke with confidence ‘Monday to Friday six dollar’

‘Today eight dollar’

Muttering something about public holidays should be included on the pricing, I reached into my wallet, being cut short by the next utterance from beyond the glass.

‘Ten dollar’

‘Ay kay????’

‘Adult need to buy sock, sock two dollar’

Mandatory adult supervision needs mandatory overpriced foot wear. Readers can draw their own conclusions as to whether kindly Pu Pedro treated his 4 year old niece from Kampong Shitsville to an hour in the ballpark or not.

‘All just lie’ remarked Mrs Pedro, with her tone of distain reserved for mistrust toward anything overpriced or city related.

We checked out the supermarket. The only interesting products not found in Lucky had funny Japanese writing. We bought some chilli sauce for seafood and a tube of Pringles.

Outside the supermarket a Khmer food court seemed to be doing better business than the frozen whatevers and bubble tea things around them. Being used to pushing to the front of a queue, waving dollar bills and shouting in bad Khmer that ‘I like to eat chicken’, the system of looking, finding out where to order, pushing in the ordering queue, pushing to pay and somehow getting some chicken seemed daunting.  I gave up, after shouting ‘I like to eat chicken’ at the man cooking chicken, who wearily pointed me towards somewhere else crowded with folks who wanted to eat chicken.

The final lie of the day got me with beer: German beer, the kind of beer I don’t drink just to stop my hands from shaking, but beer that actually tastes good.

Between the toilets and my exit to the carpark lay Munich Beer Garden.  Artisanal German beer for $2.30 a small glass, which although a little steep for local standards seemed like an absolute godsend after  aimlessly roaming the mall like the Wandering Jew.

FREE BEER the sign outside announced. To obtain this nectar of the gods, all one had to do was ‘like’ a page on Facebook, check-in on Facebook and write ‘I love Munich fresh beer at Aeon Mall’. Winner!

The internet wouldn’t work on either of our phones.  Well it worked, but it was painfully slow. To kill time we sat and perused the menu and made further inquiries into the validity of the free beer.

‘Free beer with food’ said the unhappy looking wench forced to don the garb of an unflattering interpretation of a Bavarian bierkeller wench.

They had burgers.

‘2 burgers, bitte’ I requested in Teutonic splendour . ‘Und ein swartzbier’

The black beer arrived. Tt actually tasted good, even at moi-mun a glass. As for the burgers……

If you’re going to tell a lie, tell a big one, to paraphrase Goebbels. Advertising mouthwatering gourmet burgers is fine, but here’s  a small piece of advice to the bosses at Munich Beer WassisdassPlatz:  Do not, I repeat DO NOT,  just run over to Mastergrill (the worst of all Cambodian burger joints) and present that as your own.

If a restaurant does decide to cheat and pass off a disgusting sweet cake with a strip of shriveled meat that is a Mastergrill burger, then surely it would be better to put a little garnish around the side of the plate – some soggy lettuce perhaps, or even a slice of tomato?

Not a chance. Although dressed the part, none of the staff had the slightest inclination of German efficiency. Surely just removing the greasy Mastergrill wrapper from a $2.90 a la carte burger would occur to someone?  Apparently not, as two still in the paper lumps of congealed sugar and fat were unceremoniously dumped on the authentic beer barrel style table.

The beer was great and although technically ‘free’, the bill was more than it would have been to just buy the stuff and not waste time, effort or taste buds.

So yeah, I hate Aeon Mall for a variety of reasons, penny pinching aside.  It’s a pretty god awful place which must be a tax write off for some holdings company with offices in Tokyo, Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands.

Allow me instead to send off the wife with a fistful of riel into the chaos of the street where the prices are cheap and the lies go;

“I give good discount, sell you price, not make money” and accompanied by a face-saving smile.  All, of course, a lie.

 

*Since this rant, I’ve found out that Mastergrill and the Munich Bierkeller Putsch are somehow linked, but I’m not letting pesky facts get in the way of a story.

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91 Responses to Lies, Lies and Aeon Mall

  1. Rachel Matters says:

    It seems that Khmer440 continues to dive deeper into the toilet. What a load of dribble you have just written. One can only hope that you use some of your weekly school teaching salary, have a splurge and buy a one way ticket back to the hole you crawled out from and get out of Cambodia, so the rest of us can enjoy its fantastic development.

    One statement for you and others like you – if you don’t like Cambodia then please leave and go back to your own country.

    Regards

    Rachel Matters

    • pedro says:

      I fail to see how my return to ‘a hole I crawled out from'(Luxembourg, by the way), will have any effect on ‘the rest of you’ enjoying the ‘fantastic development’. My wife would probably be quite pissed off, mind.

      If my very presence somehow inhibits your personal enjoyment of a whole fucking country, there ‘s something a little bit odd about you, Miss Matters.

      I’m sure if you submitted a c. 1000 word essay on how fabbytastic everything really is, then the K440 team will probably publish it.

      and a Merry Christmas to you.

      • Michael Klinkhamer says:

        Pedro, a very entertaining and also accurate review on the eon-misery mall.
        Never mind the mall lovers, I liked your way of getting the “lies” correct..
        Very good written article!
        Keep up the good work.

        Cheers, MK

    • Sgt Pepper says:

      What’s this BS? Is AEON the “fantastic development” you think a country like this deserves? Do you think this country really needs you? And who allows you to judge who has the “merit” to live here and who hasn’t? WTF do you think you are?

      This post has nothing to do with the country, it’s just about a japanese scam khmers are trying to deal with. And they clearly appear to be smarter than what AEON promoters thought. Let’s see what it will look in a year from now…

    • marksman says:

      I think it ts a well written article given in a humorous bent , the author should be congratulated on his writing ability seldom seen much in our rush-rush world of today . A sense of humour can improve both your health and life style , it really MATTERS !!!!

      marksman

    • Jerry says:

      So a mall represents “development”?
      I thought malls were a dying concept even in sugar-coated, pre-packaged, zero-percent-down consumerist western societies.
      Is a “higher end” (LOL!) retail experience really what we aspire to?

      I am seeing merit in the Mohammedan view that western consumer society is a pathology of the human spirit, and would be an affront to the Deity if there were such a thing.

    • rico says:

      Yeah ..a lot of dribble that also happens to be very true..

    • Tim says:

      I wish Khmer440 would publish some funny, thoughtful, meaningful articles instead this never ending stream of super negative, yabs taking the piss. Just because you have a lot to say doesn’t mean you should be heard.

      Regards,

      Captain “I didn’t ask nor do I need your sad Expat advice.”

    • jean mathis says:

      When informing people about Eon Mall, one should consider both sides of the coin. Altogether It’s a big disappointment. I mean when it comes down to things you can buy and services offered, you can find most of it everywhere else at a better prices. Nevertheless, if someone looks closer, there are hidden gems here. It looks like Pedro went there just one time and you need to get there at least 20 times to get the good parts. So here are my positive points about Eon:

      – The suhis available in the food court on ground floor are good and cheap (I would say the best in phnom penh which is not difficult to achieve I know…). It’s a Japanese shopping mall after all. Moreover they are discounted 50% after 8.30 PM. Put probably, Pedro considers raw fish as an impossible meal (being married to a cambodian country girl that only digs pahok… Difficult)

      – Tony&Guy the hair Salon. Well, this is only noticeable for people who know what a Hair Cut is all about. Pedro probably gets his hair cut for 3 bucks in the street and is happy with that. That’s fine with me. But let all the others enjoy the The Local Edward Scissor hand (Lincoln Wood from London) imported from Tokyo (his latest assignment).

      – The organic products at the supermarket, well the main attraction for me here. They have organic salt (from Himalaya, holy cow!), sugar (even molasse), soya sauce, olive oil, and at least 20 different varieties of organic ramen as well…. The best thing is they have also organic softener and laundry detergent all from Australia. They offer at least 26 different sorts of rice…. But Pedro doesn’t give a shit about organic, as long as it’s not beer, german beer being his ultimate reference (not a bad one though).

      – Now, if you have kids imported from Europe and who are used to to do Ice skating Eon offers a possibility (an expensive one though) to practice this sport. Fantastic for me. But Pedro has no imported kids, they are homegrown (on Prahok… Remember…)

      – It’s Incredible Pedro that you did not mention the word “Kayser” about Eon. Well, it’s just the number one Gourmet Baker in paris. The best bread in the world I would say. They have an outlet in Eon and you don’t even mention it. You can’t overlook this. It seriously questions your professional ability as a reviewer.

      Pedro, I agree with you that Eon Mall is nothing fancy actually, I mean it doesn’t hold one second against the splendour of the Parangon in Bangkok, but for somebody with eyes that can see there are many reasons to go there for specific reasons, for very targeted needs. This is an accurate report. More accurate than your lazy oversight. You are who you are and this is fine for me. I like you as you are and found even you account funny at some moments and of real value also (like the two dollars extra for the socks). But altogether you account is single-sided (even simple minded…). And when you do blogging you adress a larger crowd, you are not just talking to yourself or your “mates” in a pub, you need to get it right. And I doubt you’ll ever do that. But that’s ok also for me. At least the interest of such articles is the controversial debate they trigger…
      So from this perspective I give you a good point. You are a useful moron.
      Cheers
      Jean

      • Bakery says:

        Kayser “the number one Gourmet Baker in paris. The best bread in the world I would say.”??? WTF? You have hundreds of Best Gourmet Bakers in Paris, and all of them make the best bread in the world. So what?
        OK, I undrestand you work for them but try to avoid being ridiculous. That doesn’t help.
        And, in case you missed something, this was not a review of AEON. Reviews nowdays are only those who get money to talk about you or your business. This article was not sponsored.

    • WTFIYP? says:

      “Go home”. How original.

  2. ricecakes says:

    You just told a lie too.

    The beer at that German joint is scheise

  3. Christiano says:

    Awesome again Pedro.

  4. Ron Stevens says:

    The best thing about developments like Aeon is that it makes the rejects of the West that have been hiding out here for years feel that Cambodia is losing “that special something” (eg. abject poverty and anarchic disorganization). Hopefully it will completely drive them out of the country and attract real functioning humans here so that the Khmer people will no longer identify Barangs with big stinky unwashed sweating alcoholics in dirty clothes.

    • Marco says:

      That’s exactly what’s great about Cambodia Ron, the fact that people who didn’t make it in the West for whatever reason are accepted here and can have happy lives. I honestly hope that arrogant elitist cunts like yourself Ron are the ones who do not make it here. Merry Christmas.

      • Ron Stevens says:

        Hope is about all you have left it appears. Development is coming and not long from now Cambodians will be able to enjoy the benefits of development that the West has had for the last century. They will not stay in poverty so that you have a place to be a loser. Sorry to disappoint you this holiday season.

        • Hans says:

          Ron, seriously: “Cambodians will be able to enjoy the benefits of development”? How many of them? What benefits? Sewage, electricity, clean drinking water, paved roads, perhaps? I hope so. But something like Aeon has no place in that, at least not a prioritized one, I hope. Have you ever been out of Phnom Penh?

          • Hans says:

            Sorry Ron, I got carried away a bit in my last post – just read over your other post where you mention shortages in sewage and electricity yourself. I stick to my point, but please don’t take it personally.

    • Tim says:

      Ron thank you for being smart, it’s really refreshing.

  5. WHAT says:

    Total BS this Pedro’s post is lies and lies.

    It’s a higher end mall for higher end customers go to the Russian market then eat from the street venders if you don’t like what you see at the Aeon mall.

    I find it nice and food deals can be had for around $4 more food then you can eat. No to mention the food store lots of free samples you can eat for free.

    For a small fee for parking you can spend the day at the mall then listen to the free band playing out side food court its obvious you did not see.

    Its just a bad post form soem one who hates change for the better.
    The days of $2 whores are gone times have changed. Every one is getting fat and nothing will stop it.

    • Ron Stevens says:

      I don’t think everyone is getting fat (most of the country still has no sewage or electricity bro) and something could stop the development going on, like a major global economic depression driven by stagflation (which many experts suggest may be on the way). Plus, you can eat for less than $4 in the cafeteria area. I usually eat for $3 and it includes a soft drink.

    • Tim says:

      It’s clean. It’s organized. It makes sense. The staff is well trained and most of all it’s a place for all Cambodian people to come and get out of the heat and being a clean, organized, smart environment. It’s not that hard to see the benefits. Oh and BTW…the Cambos LOVE IT!

  6. Hiso says:

    Amusing piece of writing. The over the top angry replies from WHAT, Ron and Rachel are fascinating. I think they must be shareholders in Aeon. Merry Xmas indeed.

  7. Michael Klinkhamer says:

    Great article Pedro??? where is your name credited?, you nailed it! Besides that it is also witty and with a good sense of humour. Eon mall sucks big time..!
    Did you notice the noise inside that eon hallway to hell..acoustics drove me out in 20 minutes… anyhow happy shopping Cambodia. Marry X-mas

  8. Eddie says:

    Front page articles on Khmer440 used to be interesting, thought-provoking and well written. This one is total crap, as most of the others in the past six months. I hope the owner didn’t pay much for this blather.

  9. mr.norway says:

    Aeon mall is a place for rich khmers to show off their money. It’s all overpriced and do not give any hint of quality, just show off. I went there to buy a ipad when they opend, but found out that they where 100 dollar more expencive than the mac-shops in town, but I’m pritty sure the rich khmers buys it aeon mall, just to show that they have money. The thing about cambodia that I can’t understand, is that malls are expencive and small shops are cheap, in the west it’s the other way around.

    Keep up writing good stuff like this.

    • scobienz says:

      Utter nonsense. iPad prices are pretty much the same everywhere around the world with only currency fluctations having any impact on differences between countries. I suspect you were comparing different models of iPad.

      • Ron Stevens says:

        Not nonsense at all. As much as I like Aeon I have to admit that prices are as much as 100% more than they are at other places in town and as much as 500% more than they are in other Asian countries. Look at the electronics available and compare to the prices in Thailand and China if you don’t believe me.

        • BarangBuddha says:

          i went there a few days ago looking for a new charger/sync cable for my iPad (non-lightning type). A name brand, but non-apple, cable was US$ 21.00 at the large appliance and electronics shop on the second floor. I nearly fell over but decided to break out in laughter instead. The smiling clerk was confused so I let her in on the fact that that is 3x the price of the cable in the US (Amazon) and 5x the price of such cables (no-name) I buy in Thailand. I told her I would think about it.

      • Bilbo Bagginski says:

        LOL… iPad are certainly not priced the same around the World. You’re out of your mind. You can literally buy 3 iPad back in the states for a price of one in Poland for example. I made out like a bandit this year.

  10. Jack says:

    Some of these comments really are annoying. The NGO crowd of rampant feminist/liberal/progressive exploiters think they somehow have a right not only to the entire country but to your opinions also.
    If you dare to point out the very many glaring faults of this country you hear this frothing rage and are told then go somewhere else and let them bathe in the glowing effervescence of their own delusions. Cambodia is a third world toilet and that’s largely because the population don’t really give a shit and want nothing more than rice and Ipads. I’m here for my own reasons which are actually largely positive but they are not. Aeon mall is a sign of a huge step backwards for this poor, beleaguered little country. It doesn’t need a huge mass of seething consumerism dumped on its doorstep, it needs positive examples set for it to encourage such things as free education. But no, narrow minds would rather have a shopping mall because turning Cambodia into a 1st world toilet like america is somehow more appealling than letting it find its own identity.
    I thought the article was fun and agree with the sentiments. It was actually refreshingly well-written too.

    • Tim says:

      America a 1st world toilet. Hahahaha. Just another loser yab so deep in his alcoholism he cannot see life in full-color…only black and white. The article was fun? Dear Lord you need help.

    • BarangBuddha says:

      My tuk-tuk driver the other day had a shiny gold iPhone 6…talk about priorities; and I’m content to use a nice spec but relatively unknown Chinese brand phone (Vivo) at half the price. But she (yes “Sky” the lady driver on St. 248) I guess has more face than me…oh my!

  11. LukeSky says:

    Aeonmall is where the corrupt Khmer elites park their ill-gotten wealth to milk the poor. Most if not all the franchises are owned by big shot criminals in the government through their spoilt brat children and relatives. Don’t throw your money their way.

  12. Hans says:

    That mall is indeed a failure, imho. Regardless wether you are a mall fan or not, this place is terrible. The music is way too loud, most of the time, the escalators move so slowly that halfway one will start to run just to get off, the food court has an unworkable process design and too few seats, most of the shops are of the kind that sell stuff that no one needs – although there are a few exceptions to that, I like the big electronics place to pick-up a few printer cartridges and’ll have a coffee on the way up -, it is utterly unreachable by feet, unless having to cross large swats of concrete (and empty) parking lots, which makes it most unwelcoming for anyone without a 4-wheel drive. In short: It is one big “wannabee part of the big rich world, but have no clue how all that works, but nevermind, nobody will notice.”

  13. Ken svay says:

    The replies here are certainly much more interesting than the crappy mall itself. As if Cambodia needs development like this! It needs a functioning health system and schools, sewerage treatment, investment in agriculture, a judicial system that works for the majority- etc etc, we all know this except some indignant morons commenting here.
    I think that the mall is awful, no one will spend money there, not even the rich Khmers. They go to Bangkok and Singapore for a much better shopping experience.

  14. Lone Star says:

    Not your best effort Pedro.

    I know it is easy for those of us in the West to imagine that Khmers like sweating their asses of in traditional markets………..but they like air con and convenience just as we do. I am not a fan of the mall…..but I grew up with them and am tired of them. However, I imagine that 99% of Khmers that walk in there……….love it. The fact that the mall seems to be thriving, means that it is satisfying a need in a growing Phnom Penh.

  15. NeedNot says:

    In the entire Southeast Asia, the natives know quite well that the Western expats are nothing but biatches with no integrity whatsoever. Back in their own home countries, the Asians are dominating them in every professional fields, creating various gigantic ethnic enclaves and making them Westerners becoming mere simple cheap tourists. Whenever the Westerners visit any of the Asian-created ethnic enclaves, they never fail to put on a smile and admire everything Asian. Without the Asian industriousness and food, the Westerners will just be cave people just like their cave-dwelling ancestors not too long ago. One has to wonder why didn’t the Mongol overlords finish colonizing these Westerners and turned them into proper Asians. In the near future, the Chinese will just do that because the spineless lazy Westerners have grown to be dependent on everything Chinese now.

  16. Brett says:

    As always, Pedro, I think your article was very well written and oftentimes quite humorous. While I live in Siem Reap and haven’t been “lucky” enough to visit Aeon Mall, I’m quite familiar with Lucky Mall here in town and how “things are done” here. Keep up the great work, and to paraphrase a line from a great U2 song, “don’t let the bastards grind you down.”

  17. Rachel Matters says:

    Pedro, I think you and the other critics of development in Cambodia should do some self reflection. Cambodia doesn’t need constant critics like you, writing negative material, humorous or not, about how shit it is. Cambodians and many around the world know its not a Hong Kong or Singapore, but do you have to write it all the time. My father once told me that if you call someone stupid long enough they will believe it. Well perhaps Cambodians have had enough of being told how second rate they are. How about writing some posts that talk about the great things that are happening.

    I think we all forget that the country is only 30 or so years old, considering the terrible state it was left in from Pol Pot, civil war and other bleeps on its recent radar. Its not perfect and nor should it be considering what they have been through.

    But you and other foreigners who have no right to criticise Cambodia, especially since you are a guest in the country, have missed my point. If you don’t like the place then go back to you Luxembourg. Why stay here if you think it is so much of a dump?

    And Ken Svay – lets reflect on all the negative rubbish that you have written and said about Cambodia and Cambodians over the past years you have been a guest here. The only contribution you have made to the country is the $10 you spend most nights at girl bars like the Shanghai bar. Its no wonder you hate Aoen Mall – there is nothing under $5 for you to buy. Thank goodness your negativity is soon to end.

    Thank you to all the people above who were so keen to jump on my comments about disliking foreigners who criticise Cambodia moving in a positive direction – it certainly reiterates my point.

    Regards,

    Rachel

    • pedro says:

      Have you ever actually met any Cambodians?

      A lot of people really seem to have a stick up their arse at the moment.

      I think you might be a troll, I hope so because if you are really this retarded then that IS a worry.

      It’s AEON mall FFS, a place for the rich to spend and the poor to look at o things they can’t afford.

      Personally I didn’t like it, neither did my Cambodian wife……

      If you want to get married to the frigging mall then that’s your right, and I won’t attack you for your choice to ‘like’or ‘dislike’whatever you want.

      Where, in the article did I say anything about Cambodia being a dump?

      And, also, bringing the war into every argument/excuse is also a fairly weak tactic to deploy, in this age of ‘development’.

      • Lord Playboy says:

        pedro wrote: “If you want to get married to the frigging mall then that’s your right, and I won’t attack you for your choice to ‘like’or ‘dislike’whatever you want.”

        Wait, what !?!

        Are you publicly outing Ms Matters as an objectophile ???

    • Johnny Guitar says:

      I don’t really know whether this country needs people like us or like the author of this article, but one thing I know for sure is that it doesn’t need people like the one posting BS under the name of Rachel whatever.

      Before posting that sort of idiotic evangelic nonsense please do some homework about the topic here and you’ll easily find out that the core business model of those people is not building Malls but selling Microfinance.

      Their Malls are just showcasing items that ordinary people will want to buy but can’t afford and their Microfinance offices – right around the corner – are there to “help” them make the purchase.

      For instance, if you can’t afford that phone worth3 times your monthly salary then the Microfinance office will help, by allowing you to pay over several years/months and finally spend 5 times your salary.

      If you think this is what this young country needs for its development you are either nuts or you simply rent commercial space there. Which equals to about the same.

    • Bryan says:

      Dear Rachel,
      Please explain how the Aeon Mall benefits the ordinary Cambodian,especially those residing outside Phnom Penh.Also how does criticism of a Japanese owned enterprise reflect badly on Cambodia. Perhaps you should step outside your expat bubble at times and stop spouting the party/NGO line at the drop of a hat.

    • Tim says:

      Amen Rachel. But you missed it on Luxemburg…they are from around the Sheffield area. Ha!

  18. Vibol says:

    What a load of BS! common give Cambodia a break here, most of Cambodian would love to see such a great mall like AEON where to can hang out and walk about just like any other developed country.

    Most of you have been to this kind of mall since you were born, but sorry we didn’t and no one want to have another mall like crappy Soriya or Sovanna. Pedro you can go a live somewhere in kampong cham or kampong tom, if you’re so negative on something like AEON mall i think those 2 province should suit you more.

    Peace

    • pedro says:

      Pedro you can go a live somewhere in kampong cham or kampong tom,

      Kampong Speu, actually, it’s not as if I don’t have a little experience outside PP, unlike most of these angry corruption apologist mall-lovers…….

  19. Paul says:

    Young Pedro, this is the biggest pile of stinking poo I have read since “7 Reasons Why You Really Shouldn’t Move to Cambodia” well done!

    • pedro says:

      Thanks Paul, one can but try. For every comment left a hungry Cambodian gets a kitten to eat and I get a cash reward…. keep ‘em coming.

  20. NeedNot says:

    This is what I don’t understand, the Western expats in Cambodia -especially the addicts of this website whose original owner croaked this year- have always been for years carrying out the hateful attacking and defaming of Cambodia’s infrastructure, economy, accommodations, transportation, services, food, electricity, power, Cambodian people, etc. Now there is a modern shopping mall to meet their demands of modern conveniences and they still bitch about it. They claim to be superior, but they have nothing in Cambodia. There is not a freaking single expat who is considered “rich” by even the Cambodian standards. A mere female Cambodian simple general dentist has more than a million US dollars to invest in a business. For many years now, these expats suck at even teaching and promoting the usage of English to the people of Cambodia. The funny thing is that when it is time for any of them to depart this earth, they seem to always end up getting cremated with the Buddhist rituals. They can’t even buy a burial plot for their remains. I heard that the reason why the western expats didn’t survive the Democratic Kampuchea Regime because they couldn’t adapt. Here is a simple trial: Put any western expat on any rice paddy in Cambodia and see if they will survive or not.

    • James says:

      Or drop any “simple Cambodian General”, as many stars as you like, in the west and see if they still make a million, or end up driving a cab.

      • NeedNot says:

        What are you talking about, James? I was talking about a Phnom Penh-based female dentist who practices general dentistry. She has a million dollars to invest in a business located in the U.S.A. Nonetheless, if you want to talk about “Cambodian Generals” living in the west,I can guarantee you that they will first of all own jewelry stores, liquor stores, Chinese fast food restaurants or doughnut shops. They also operate Money Transfer Services, in addition to owning shopping plazas or farms. They also own apartments and condos to rent out. These are just some of the ways that the “Cambodian Generals with stars” are raking the money in the west.

        • James says:

          I wasn’t talking about their ill-gotten gains, but about their ability, if they were parachuted in. Plenty of very wealthy Khmer I’ve met can’t even read or write!

          Honestly, do you think your dentist earned those millions, or did her government-connected husband help her “be good at business”?

          • NeedNot says:

            This is where you are dead wrong, James. You dissect too much. You need to be careful about your assumptions of those “wealthy Khmer people”. In Cambodia, they can actually sue you in the court of law for your slander and false misrepresentation of them. You should know that the Hun Sen regime loves to sue people for any slightest of false accusation. Don’t conclude that there are no honest wealthy Khmer people. About that female dentist, the reason why she has at least a million to invest in America because she was able to sell her various pieces of land to the South Korean developers. 1 point for the honest female dentist, and 0 point to the jealous James. Keep on doing honest work in life, James, so that you can earn the blessings of the Lord Buddha.

          • James says:

            It looks like I’m dead right, then.

            Your dentist friend isn’t successful for being a dentist, but because of finding herself in possession (by fair means or foul, I won’t comment on that) of valuable real-estate. Would she have been as successful in the west? How many of the wealthy Khmer would have been successful if they’d had to make it in the west rather than finding themselves sitting at the dining table in the chaos and corruption of Cambodia’s recent development?

            I have no doubt the regime likes to sue people who question their position of wealth and power, since they often don’t stand up to scrutiny. If their wealth was genuine, they wouldn’t be so coy about how they made it, no?

            Of course the majority of Cambodians a re honest, but they are not the wealthy ones.

  21. Rachel Matters says:

    Pedro – if you don’t like something then please don’t feel a need to put it on an open forum because no-one, well at least good people don’t care. A troll? is that the label you give to people that are against what your personal opinion or is it that you don’t like being put back in your place by a western women? What school do you work at? I hope you aren’t teaching this negative dribble to Khmer children.

    Bryan – obviously you have no business sense – the Aoen Mall and any other large investments help every day Cambodians by creating jobs, allowing them to earn money and bettering their standard of living. The emerging middle class that is slowly developing in Cambodia will continue to grow – not to mention that on the facade, new developments like shopping malls and cinemas improve Cambodia cosmetically. Sure there is a lot of work to do but at least it is heading in the right direction.

    What makes me laugh is most of the negative comments about Cambodia on Khmer440 normally are looking to shoot down NGO’s and the role they have played in developing Cambodia. Very strange that when private investments comes in, the same people post negative comments about it as well.

    Thank goodness the likes of Pedro, Bryan and other knockers who continue to want to keep Cambodia in the toilet never contribute to its development. And I know you don’t have a business or any developments in Cambodia – if you did, you would be praising the fact that we as foreigners can benefit from it.

    I think I have wasted enough time trying to state my point. As Vibol stated – if you don’t like what Cambodia is becoming then either put your full name and personal details on a letter and send it to the Government so they can see who you are and cancel your visa or voluntarily pack your bags and go back to wherever you came from – Cambodia doesn’t need or want you!

    • Bryan says:

      Dear Rachel,
      I see that asking you questions and suggesting you get out more, in your view constitutes knocking Cambodia. I wasn’t aware that you and the country were one and the same, although I have noted you seem to labor under the delusion that you have the right to proclaim what or who it does or doesn’t want.Perhaps you might like to enlighten us as to when Sar Keng appointed you as one of his official spokesmen.
      I brought up said mall in conversation with
      some visitors from Phnom Penh,well to do Khmers,this lunch time, their verdict “over priced, badly located,benefits only the Japanese owners”. But then who are they to contradict you?
      Enjoy the Bubble,
      Bryan

    • NeedNot says:

      Rachel – I like the way you handle these big wimpy losers. You are correct to observe that none of them “have a business or any developments in Cambodia”. It is a fact! More power to Rachel! Put these wimps back in their place. There is a comic book about a wimpy guy who can’t even talk to a gentle woman back in the west, but once he lands in Asia, immediately, he thinks he is a “hunk”. Oh paaleeeze.

    • so phim says:

      “Sure there is a lot of work to do but at least it is heading in the right direction.“

      by building malls wow you are a stupid cunt

  22. Johnny Guitar says:

    I don’t know who entitled the person named Rachel Matters speak here on behalf of Cambodians, about what is good for them or not and what foreigners should think about a shopping Mall in this country. I think this person not only suffers from aggravated stupidity but is also an utter fascist. In fact Rachel you are simply a stupid fascist. Move to North Korea, they will gladly welcome you there.

    Agree or not, anyone has the right to say and publish that his shopping experience at a given Mall, in any country, was a bad experience. The only ones that are entitled to disagree are the Mall owners and they should elaborate why this person was wrong.

    If you find this site is so bad, why you don’t set up your own and build a community of wonderful people doing so much for this country?

    And don’t forget to appoint the moron signing as NeedNot as moderator. He has great ideas about what foreigners should think in this country and he seems to know a lot about how to earn money and run a successful business here.

    NeedNot: put any Cambodian rice farmer to do my job (I’m Forex trader) and we’ll see how long he will survive. So what? And if you think teaching English is a bad idea, just ask your Government to close English schools and stick with Khmer.

  23. NeedNot says:

    Johnny Guitar has been reduced to a mere crybaby who enjoy cursing instead. Johnny Guitar is a “Forex trader” that is at the bottom of the food chain. The state of Cambodia needs a lot of trading partners to move their natural resources or farm products outside the country. Come join the team if you even have a capability. While Johnny Guitar weeps and looks for more curse words, I am enjoying my palm juice. I bet you don’t even know what that is.

    • Johnny Guitar says:

      No, I have no idea what palm juice is; those days I drink only vodka because of the rouble exchange rate.
      Why don’t you open a shop at AEON for promoting Cambodian products? You seem to be an expert.

      • NeedNot says:

        “rouble exchange rate” and “drining vodka”???? Are you into Russian economy or some sh*t like that? At the present there are at least 188 businesses operating at AEON Mall, so I need to find a niche for my “business”. I am thinking of a type of business that offers myriad of services to meet the “needs” of all the male Western expats. For the past many years, these male expats have been bitching about their wants of services of all types of categories so that they would feel like living it large. This business will been soon established to meet the needs of Johnny Guitar, the drunkard.

  24. andy says:

    Wow, a lively debate here! I just have one question, to ‘Rachel’. You make a lot of assumptions about posters who disagree with you – assumptions about their jobs and lifestyles. I’d hate to fall into that same trap so in the interests of transparency I’d like to ask you what you actually do in Cambodia. I hope to god you’re not one of those ‘development’ parasites that Strangio exposes and savages so thoroughly in his excellent study of modern Cambodia – that would be the height of irony!

    • Johnny Guitar says:

      In fact, I heard Rachel is responsible of relocating the Australian refugees in the Mall when all shops will be gone out of business there.
      She just tries to postpone this as late as possible by promoting their businesses while they are still paying their rent.
      Good job Rachel!

    • Bryan says:

      Elsewhere she has stated that she works for “a development bank”.

  25. Cody says:

    This is so boring. This and the other article about the Budweiser Santa that I didn’t read. I used to come to this website regularly about a year ago and usually just about every week there was something new. Now days though I feel extremely lucky to find new decent entertainment on this site once every other month. What happened to all the articles describing gritty personal experiences? Nobody wants to read about someone else’s opinions. Everyone’s got em and nobody cares about anyone’s but their own. The site’s dedicated to life in fucking Cambodia for God’s sake! You’d think it would be able to churn out something interesting once in a while.

    • Johnny Guitar says:

      Yeah, right. Just got a wire from the Editor: Rachel will be publishing the weekly front page from now on.

      Expect a full of decent entertainment and gritty personal experiences article for the New Year.

      From what I heard, working title is “How I helped Cambodians overcome depression by organizing free guided tours to AEON Mall”. But this may still be edited. Stay tuned!

      • Rachel Matters says:

        Johnny Guitar – a word of advice. You may want to calm down and take a breath before posting in an angry state of mind. It will ensure that your post is grammatically correct and reads correctly.

        I didn’t know that you were so intimidated by a women that could use words with more than 4 letters.

        Is that your USA trailer park persona coming out again?

        • NeedNot says:

          Hahaha. Rachel has once again landed a clean punch to Johnny Guitar’s left eye by pointing out his “USA trailer park persona”. LOL. There is only one good eye left, JG. If Rachel continues her accurate punches, then you will be out for all eternity.

  26. Karl Hungus says:

    Fascinating debate about a trip to the mall. But I submit that the main lesson is that if mall patrons limit activity to 15 minutes of “Fealetto”, 94% chance that $800 baby auto-rocker will not be needed.

  27. epidemiks says:

    Ah K440.. Come for the front page articles, stay for the comments section!

  28. Vic Matthews says:

    Pedro is a genius! The article wasn’t bad but look at the shit storm he created! I get the same thrill reading these comments as I do when I watch Jerry Springer. Name calling; accusations and counter-accusations; prescribing what is best for Cambodia; I think there was even some kind of threat of legal action in there. This is awesome. Nice job Pedro!

    • Sgt Pepper says:

      You should rather congratulate the first poster here; she has done a great job opening the door to backdraft. Nice job Rachel, please come again!

  29. Cambostan says:

    All this vitriolic crap over a great little fun article. What Cambo seems to need is anger management for tight assed expats.

  30. Dallas BP says:

    Pedro is just mad about living cost in PP getting more expensive. Aeon Mall to Pedro is a thumb down, but to others it is an inspiration, a progress, and pleasant sight to see.

  31. Geofflorimer says:

    Good debate, I went to Aeon mall when it opened. Shit innit.
    Bye

  32. Tim says:

    I’d love to know how many of these super negative expats have actually CREATED JOBS in the country? Piss and moan in their Northern England, yab, unhelpful manor and take, take, take. Pitiful and annoying.

  33. Geofflorimer says:

    I actually bought a lease on Restraunt / bar in Golden Sorya Mall for my wife which created work for her staff also. That she chose to make an arse of it is neither here nor there. Margarita Restraunt bar is closed and the Aeon Shopping Mall is still shite.
    Thank you

  34. Geofflorimer says:

    To be fair, it has good air on but no ordinary Khmer family could afford anything in Aeon mall.
    I purchased a liquid soap dispenser for a mere $18, in UK £1.00. The staff must have thought I was a bloody idiot and also must have been so annoyed about what they could have done with $18. I only bought it to commemorate my visit. I felt awful afterwards and thought about what Daughters Of Cambodia could have done with $18 or even if I had eaten in Romdeng on street 174 ang left a big tip.
    Don’t you see, there are still more important things to blow your wad on. Most people working in the Mall are pretty much hard up. I Hope the rich offspring from the Khmer Rouge or military bigwigs shall spend enough to keep them all in work and the rest of us can spend cheap and keep the rest of the population happy, ie, the ones that you won’t see in the Mall either side of the counter.
    Je Suis Bophana.

  35. Bow Here says:

    Those who find it to be “an inspiration, and a progress” and want to create jobs here, might want want to ask first the people working there what they think about the obligation they have to bow each and every time the are in/out of service areas:
    http://tinypic.com/r/29wv8u9/8

  36. John Jones says:

    People refer to Aeon Mall and in its role in or effect on ‘the development of Cambodia’. Malls are not there to develop countries – they are there to make money. If Aeon Mall makes money its a success, if it doesn’t its not. And personally I prefer walking in Aeon Mall to walking through the Russian or, God forbid, Orussey Market. And again, yes it is more expensive than these and other markets, but since I often (usually?) get quoted prices that are considerably more than the ‘real’ price (call it ‘foreign tax’), buying in Aeon Mall probably works out cheaper in the end…

    Long live Aeon Mall.

  37. Seebay says:

    I went to Aeon Mall three times with different groups of people to look for some clothes

    First time, I went with my brothers and sisters. We didn’t buy anything and we all agree that things there are overprice.

    Second time, I went with my friends who are doctors. We didn’t buy anything because it’s too expensive and overprice.

    Third time, I went with my other friends who are engineers. Again I and my friend still didn’t buy anything because it’s still too expensive and overprice.

    After third time visit i would say that Aeon Mall is a great mall in PP where you can go refreshing and selfy-ing but not for shopping.

    And now I understand why a lot people like posting picture only them at the Mall but not them with the things they bought at the mall.

  38. BarangBuddha says:

    I first went to see the Aeon Mall about 6-8 months ago; I believe this was not long after it first opened. I did enjoy it as I have nothing against malls per se and especially in these hot tropical countries, enjoy a cool place to relax as much as the next person. At the time, just about all of the retail spaces were occupied and everything was shiny and new. I too noted the “fancy” prices on many goods and the many international name brand clothing, electronic, and home furnishings on offer. I thought to myself at the time…is there really hat much demand for these types of items at these price points to sustain this mall…and is her really enough disposable income among the population to make he mall a go?

    So I was back in-country this past week and made another swing through and I see my misgivings seem to be coming true. I noticed a number of now closed and vacant retain and food outlets that were previously occupied. As before, there are people wandering around but I saw very little actual buying (other than at the food court and some of the other food outlets, which are relatively affordable purchases at least for middle class Khmers). A mall with too many unoccupied spaces quickly starts to get run down and a forlorn feeling about it. I’m not saying Aeon is there or even close but the augers are not good in my opinion. I’ve been vising The Penh off and on for over a decade and from what I can observe, while there has been much economic development and improvement in general living standards during that time, I don’t really think there is a large enough middle-class with enough disposable income to make such a posh mall (by Cambodian standards) a success. However, I wouldn’t be disappointed if I’m proved wrong.

  39. mark says:

    Cute how you slagged the businesses for their poor English, then you misread the sign on the baby cradle thingy. It clearly says within 15 minutes, yet you said within an hour. Nothing wrong with the English there, just you cannot seem to understand it.

    I usually read everything relating to the region, but found that going on and on about institutional lies in your opening was overkill, and I had to skip most of that.

    Tried to finish it. Just scanned it. I think a report on the mall would have been fine without your focus on the lies. Just tell what you saw, it would be more entertaining and relevant.

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