Tag Archives: hostess bars

Walking a Mile in a Sex Worker’s Shoes

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With Pchum Ben less than a week away I got a call from an unknown number on my cell phone. Usually picking up a mystery call results in my apologizing in Khmer for not speaking enough Khmer, and I eventually…

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Leak, Bopha and Makara

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Naomi-Collett Ritz spends some quality time with a trio of Phnom Penh sex workers. I met Leak, Bopha, and Makara a few months ago. I ended up at their bar on Street 104 in Phnom Penh one night when I’d…

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Memoirs of a Grizzled Expat 14: The Cambodia ‘Casanova’

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So what was I doing over Christmas? I spurned all the invites to parties as I hadn’t heard from my poor phoneless waif and I was so worried about her; I suspected – rightly – that she was too weak…

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Memoirs of a Grizzled Expat 12: Up Close and Personal

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I concluded the last memoir with a summary of the terrible situation befalling the cashier I was sweet on. Desperately clinging onto her virtue in a hostess bars where her staff were ripping off idiot westerners for fortunes, she was…

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Memoirs of a Grizzled Expat 11: The Look of Love

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In the last couple of articles I’ve been focussing on the voluntary work I was doing, leaving my ‘love-life’ in abeyance. I guess it’s time to return to that topic now. I’m about five months into my life in Phnom…

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Memoirs of a Grizzled Expat 7: Secrets of the Skin Trade

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Last time I half-jokingly referred to the place I’m staying in as a brothel and it is, but really if you interpret the term through western lenses it is very misleading, just as the term ‘prostitute’ is. There are certainly…

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Memoirs of a Grizzled Expat 6: Visa Travels, Getting Hired and Bars

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As my first month in Cambodia came to a close I had finally lined up some English-teaching hours at one university spread across three campuses along with a weekend Masters’ course at another university. Just before I started, however, I…

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Memoirs of a Grizzled Expat (4)

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photo courtesy of Stickman Bangkok Some weeks the ‘plot’ will move on; other weeks it will go deeper. This week’s article reproduces further notes I took during my first week in Phnom Penh. It is my reflections on some of…

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Memoirs of a Grizzled Expat (3)

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These are extracts from a chapter I entitled, Where the Bad Are Good and the Good Very Bad (which will continue into part 4). It took me about, let’s say, six hours from decamping from my guesthouse/flophouse to finding my…

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January Poll: Should Western embassy personnel hang out in hostess bars?

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Last month, I wrote an open letter to William E. Todd, the new U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia. In that letter, I suggested that he ban U.S. embassy personnel from patronizing Cambodia’s hostess bars. Partly because it’s wrong for them to…

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