The cyclos, street food and shophouses of 1950s Phnom Penh (Pics)

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Re: The cyclos, street food and shophouses of 1950s Phnom Penh (Pics)

Post by Freightdog »

timmydownawell wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:11 am Nice photos. Everything is so clean - there's not a single bit of rubbish in any of the pics.
I put this down (rightly or wrongly) to a certain amount of national pride and self respect, nurtured in the normal way from an early age in families. The naughty lads gleefully peeing in the gutter are no more or less than kids anywhere with a sense of mischief. In this instance, there’s a guy with a camera, so why not take the opportunity? In the west, in recent times, you’d have someone mooning.
Up the road in Bangladesh, you have a country awash in garbage and refuse, dropped idly by folk who seemingly could care less.

The whole region has one thing in common- massive social upheaval caused by numerous conflicts and civil wars, over several decades, and effectively wiping out much of the civilised structure. The continuity of basic respect and self respect being lost, to be replaced by the need to get by.

Is the plastic littering unique to Asia? I don’t believe so. Just look at motorways in the UK now. Belgium in many places. There’s just a different rate at which people stopping giving a damn.

Great photos, btw. Room for more.
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Re: The cyclos, street food and shophouses of 1950s Phnom Penh (Pics)

Post by timmydownawell »

It looks so lovely in the photos. If I could travel back in time to the 50s/60s I'd love to visit PP in that era. I used to work with a woman in Auckland in the early 90s who'd spent some time here in the 60s, and she used to talk about it, she loved it.
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Re: The cyclos, street food and shophouses of 1950s Phnom Penh (Pics)

Post by clutchcargo »

I would've loved to have been here in the 60s..presumably the fashions and general atmosphere would've been similar (minus the viet ao dai)
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Re: The cyclos, street food and shophouses of 1950s Phnom Penh (Pics)

Post by John Bingham »

Apparently the late 50s to early 60s were a great period of growth, US aid was flowing and there were a ton of US engineers and cars around, plus aid from France and increasingly China. Around 1965, concurrent with the refusal of US aid and subsequent closure of the US embassy things changed rapidly. Many of the foreign community left and there just wasn't as much money flowing around so many restaurants and businesses serving foreigners and the now not so rich elite closed. From 1966 on was a period of stagnation which saw rapid inflation, a huge increase in graduates with no actual jobs, the take-over of many border areas by Vietnamese communists, failed taxation initiatives as there was more money to be made selling rice/ cement etc to the Vietnamese communists than to the government at their low enforced prices... etc.
Cambodia seemed great in the 1960s compared to the next decades but it was actually in a mess, one which had a direct effect on the ones following it. Milton Osbourne's Before Kampuchea: Preludes to Tragedy (1979) is a good introduction to the period.
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Re: The cyclos, street food and shophouses of 1950s Phnom Penh (Pics)

Post by whatwat »

I’d like to have been anywhere in the 50s and 60s.
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Re: The cyclos, street food and shophouses of 1950s Phnom Penh (Pics)

Post by Ghostwriter »

Funny how things go...

My dad was in this area from 1951 to 1953 (20 to 22 y.o), and began to paint there. He brought his first painting back home, i have it.
I was in this area from 2015 to 2018 (43 to 46 y.o), and could only do one painting, but i brought it back home.
My son was with me (3 to 6 y.o), and made his first recognizable drawing here too, and i brought it back home too.

I'm always happy to see photos of my father's time from places i've been to too, as we unfortunately cannot talk about it anymore. But i will have a funny story about it to tell my son when he's in age of appreciating it.

Yeah, looks peaceful and nice..., i wish i was there at THAT time.
Mixed feelings at my time.
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