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Thread: Farewell, Cambodia

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    nelsonone and obes like this.

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    Super Moderator K2's Avatar
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    Next door not so very different, and if Suu Kyi opens the door too wide then Myanmar too will head down the same slope.

    Unlike Hotel California most of us are lucky enough to be able to check out (of SE Asia) as needs dictate and the little trickle is becoming more and more evident even amongst us motley bunch of misfits.
    Its My Life .....!

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Obviously I spent far less time there, but those thoughts mirrored my own very much..

    I really felt much more sorry and sympathy for Khmer peoples lot in life, much more than I do here in Thailand. Heres theres work, plenty of it, at decent enough rates of pay. Yes theres lots of glass ceilings designed to keep people in their classes, but the absolute grinding poverty, the issues of actual hunger etc, those are not there in anything like the same level. When you see girls in bars etc, they are there through choice, not good choices perhaps, but the option to go work in a 7/11 or equavalent shity job, is ALWAYS there, they are there because they want more money for less work. In cambodia often they are there because there is nothing else they can do which enables them to put a roof over their head. Its just a different level of hardships.

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    Senior Member dontpanic's Avatar
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    During my brief stay there a few years back I thought they were a lot more genuine than the Thais, the smiles didn't seem as put on.

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    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    ^They havent had the enough prolonged exposure to us to begin seeing us something to feed on...
    tnlawyer and NeedHoliday like this.

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    Senior Member dontpanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarProfiteer View Post
    ^They havent had the enough prolonged exposure to us to begin seeing us something to feed on...
    I don't know, I can't say for sure as I was only there for ten days or so but my impression was that they aren't as mercenary as the Thai's. A tour guide I had told me that Thai's tend to descend more from Chinese where as Khmers are a seperate culture, I know it's not as straight forward as that but it is indicative of their positioning. Cambodia already seems to be sorting out its visa structure a lot better than Thailand. I'd love to see Cambodia in 20 years if the governments can get their act together it could prove to be an excellent alternative as well as a very good investment.

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    Now in retirement, I have checked out a few times but am having trouble leaving. It's a good article and hits a lot of points on the head. I had plenty of staff and tried to train them well, but for what. Any upward mobility is really out of the question. They became more marketable to other bar owners, and their English and social skills had improved, but the future for them is bleak. One of my staff and her family was evicted from Borei Keila. While soul searching in Thailand and trying to decide where I want to be, you can really sense the difference among Thais.

    Pattaya and Bkk are definitely more mercenary and even in the countryside the aim seems to get a bread winner to build a house in the village and have an income stream. Thais love Thailand and will structure their motives to stay here. Khmers want out. They see no end game. They are more genuine but that could be because they haven't had the time being shit on by westerners that the Thais have had, and they also don't seem to have the alliances the Thais have. A gogo girl fresh to the scene will get the coaching of a mamasan and has a set of rules and guidelines that she will adhere to...stick to your guns and milk the two week millionaire. It wasn't always that way. In Cambodia, they seem to be more on their own and coaching comes secondary to getting a meal. Alliances at the lower level seem to be more family and neighbors don't seem to communicate. At the upper level, there are forced arranged marriages.

    Most Thais read and write, not the case in Cambodia though over the years I have seen greater improvements. The Khmers do seem to be more connected to the west in many ways as there is a lot of commerce/family ties between Cambodia and Long Beach and Lowell Massachusetts. English is the avenue to bettering one self and English is found on many shop fronts through out the country. As Sef says though, in Thailand there are job options. In Cambodia, there are no real options.

    In the last 15 years, the average Khmer has had some improvements....ie cell phones, motorbikes, tvs and western amenities such as better shops, malls with western goods. Unfortunately with out the proper leadership and investment in infrastructure, and education, all those motorbikes and vehicles sit in traffic that will be worse in the next 20 years. Buildings and expensive apartments keep going up, but the rents are 400 dollars upward. The average Khmer factory worker makes 120 dollars a month. There is no investment in their people or society. The electricity stays on now, but try to go anywhere... One of the reasons I want to get out, and the main reason I live like a vampire over there.

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    Senior Member Thin White Duke's Avatar
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    Great insight and I think your pictures have depicted this in the past.

    Seems a bit lost and desolate.

    Where to in SEA?

    All seems a bit bleak.

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    Senior Member dontpanic's Avatar
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