Cambodia–Vietnam struggle

10 Jan
Vietnamese-Cambodian friendship momunment (but a statue alone is not enough...)

Vietnamese-Cambodian friendship momunment (but a statue alone is not enough...)

One of the days we went to eat with the Cambodians in a Vietnamese restaurant – despite the Vietnamese/Cambodian friendship monument, the Vietnamese don’t seem to have such a good reputation – there used to be Vietnamese in Cambodia before (so told my friends) mainly doing professions/businesses like hair dressing etc – but when they helped to oust Pol Pot and the red Khmers (end of 70s), many Vietnamase took the opportunity to settle down in ‘deserted’ (because terrorized and exterminated) cities in Cambodia to make fortune. So the Vietnamese are still considered to be the more businessy people, and the prejudice go that they would like to cheat you. So in the restaurant they checked the bill for at least 5 minutes to see if all was correct. And they were not particularly polite…

I ordered a coffee – and it was Vietnamese coffee: made in a metal filter, with water dripping through, mmmm… It was exactly like the coffee made by my Vietnamese ex when we first met – so that threw me back in time. At the same time it gave me lots of apprehension about what I will be feeling when going through Vietnam without my Vietnamese ex there… He will be so much in my head. Heeeeeelp.

The Cambodian impersonation of the Vietnamese

The Cambodian impersonation of the Vietnamese

It also seems that the Cambodians make fun of the Vietnamese, as one night in the Blue Chilli bar, they did a Vietnamese song – dressed in full Vietnamese outfit, rice-hat included…

In the streetscape, Vietnamese is then one more language to add to the mix of Cambodian, with English (and still some left-over French) subtitles, a big Chinese community, old buses from Korea and products imported from Japan, and then Vietnamese. How much more linguistic confusion can you get.

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