We have some website updates scheduled, so don't be surprised if we are offline for brief periods (Monday night/Tuesday morning). Thanks for your patience and support!

-CEO Team-

the staring and the spying

This is a part of our Cambodia forums to chat about anything Cambodia-related. This discussion forum is at the top of our site because it's usually the busiest part of the expat community chatter with random topics on just about everything, including expat life, Khmer politics, Cambodian blogs we have or have come across, or whatever else our members want to discuss. Whether you're an expatriate, tourist, Cambodian or random traveler just passing through South East Asia, you are welcome to talk about anything or start new topics yourselves.
User avatar
RickyBobby
BANNED
Posts: 1086
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:44 pm
Reputation: 357
Cambodia

Re: the staring and the spying

Post by RickyBobby » Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:04 am

I was very aware of this at first, it seems like the national pasttime/hobby in Cambodia. It made me quite uncomfortable at first. Now I am just oblivious to it. It just takes time to get used to it. What bothered me more that I am now mostly oblivious to also is the stares from (mostly female) middle aged judgy tourists who watched me with my lady. Again a lot of it might have just been in my own head, but I felt like they were judging me, as some kind of pervert, and thinking she was a sex worker or something like that which most especially made me feel bad for her. (I would just stare them down, and a few times I actually engaged them with reasonable good results and pleasant conversation which I hope resulted in a fairly decent re-education for them.)

The most miserable men here are the ones who bring their wives. haha
"Dear Lord Baby Jesus, Lyin in a Manger"
User avatar
frank lee bent
Expatriate
Posts: 10659
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 4:10 am
Reputation: 1575
Australia

Re: the staring and the spying

Post by frank lee bent » Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:23 am

it is just intense curiosity, there is no ill intent per se.
strangers call my girlfriend miss fatty and pinch her arm, ask her what she eats.
all with a smile, in fact they want to be like her.
explorer
Expatriate
Posts: 1369
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:37 pm
Reputation: 475
Australia

Re: the staring and the spying

Post by explorer » Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:35 am

I will explain the reason they do it. See if somebody disagrees.

In Western culture, we tell people if they do something we dont like. So they know we dont like it, and normally stop doing it.

In Cambodian culture, people are nice to everyone. If someone does something they dont like, they normally dont say anything, but just act happy. So people often dont know they dont like it, and continue doing it.

You may also describe it as putting themselves first, and not caring about others.

As a result, there are many things which Cambodians do, which most westerners would not do. For example, throwing trash everywhere, cutting in front of others in traffic, and playing loud music when the neighbors are trying to sleep.

A girl I know had $20 stolen from her handbag while she was at work. She knew it was one of her workmates, as they were they only ones who had access to her bag. She didnt know which one. She came home early from work, and was quite upset. I said, why dont you say something. She said she was not going to say anything because she didnt want to be seen as a troublemaker. If they dont like something, they just put in a fake happy act.

There is also a reason for this. Historically, if someone upset the wrong person, they could be killed. So it was important for everyone to like them.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
explorer
Expatriate
Posts: 1369
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:37 pm
Reputation: 475
Australia

Re: the staring and the spying

Post by explorer » Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:42 am

frank lee bent wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:23 am
it is just intense curiosity, there is no ill intent per se.
strangers call my girlfriend miss fatty and pinch her arm, ask her what she eats.
all with a smile, in fact they want to be like her.
Girls keep telling me they want to be fat.

I keep telling them, thin is beautiful.

Historically, many people have not had enough to eat. Even now, some of the poor eat less than they would like to. So they think it is good to be fat.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
nightmare.believer
Expatriate
Posts: 271
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 3:25 am
Reputation: 3
United States of America

Re: the staring and the spying

Post by nightmare.believer » Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:35 am

Probably just curious about you. If you smile, they'll smile back. Then it'd be kind if awkward if they continued staring. Try winking at them, Male or female. Alternately, look back at them, then check your zipper, adjust it, then look back at then with an irritated look.
But if you are a mark getting sized up, it's best to stare right back, and keep notice of that person. If you are going to be a victim in Cambodia, nearly all of the time you will not have seen the perpetrator before the crime goes down.
User avatar
SaigonBilly
Expatriate
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:56 pm
Reputation: 4
Location: SEA
United States of America

Re: the staring and the spying

Post by SaigonBilly » Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:52 am

staring: wondering if you're a friend.

spying: making sure you remain one. :popcorn:
nothing is free, everything has a Price and that's what hurts.
%) =@
User avatar
RickyBobby
BANNED
Posts: 1086
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:44 pm
Reputation: 357
Cambodia

Re: the staring and the spying

Post by RickyBobby » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:03 am

nightmare.believer wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:35 am
Probably just curious about you. If you smile, they'll smile back.
This was some of the earliest and best advice I got about it. Its true.
"Dear Lord Baby Jesus, Lyin in a Manger"
User avatar
frank lee bent
Expatriate
Posts: 10659
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 4:10 am
Reputation: 1575
Australia

Re: the staring and the spying

Post by frank lee bent » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:09 am

my girl is fat from cortico steroids as she nearly died from asthma many times.
she is on track for normalcy now

My gf was collecting cans with her 9 siblings age 4 at 4 AM to eat.

the family lived in a bed with a blue tarp over it for some years
they have a real house now behind the former small market in SV.
Angkar survivors

i will try to move them to mondulkiri to escape the invasion of china
User avatar
clutchcargo
Expatriate
Posts: 1816
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:09 pm
Reputation: 642
Cambodia

Re: the staring and the spying

Post by clutchcargo » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:19 am

RickyBobby wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:04 am
I was very aware of this at first, it seems like the national pasttime/hobby in Cambodia. It made me quite uncomfortable at first. Now I am just oblivious to it. It just takes time to get used to it. What bothered me more that I am now mostly oblivious to also is the stares from (mostly female) middle aged judgy tourists who watched me with my lady. Again a lot of it might have just been in my own head, but I felt like they were judging me, as some kind of pervert, and thinking she was a sex worker or something like that which most especially made me feel bad for her.
I guess it depends too where you hang around. In Daun Penh, I rarely get stared at by khmers either by myself or with Mrs Cargo. They are just used to the many foreigners around and barangs with younger girls. OTOH I've noticed a few foreigners have a quick glimpse at us..maybe there's a hint of jealousy from guys with their older, overweight wives. The wives think it's either cool or disapprove.

I notice some khmer girls look at Mrs Cargo but I think it's more to do with the clothes she's wearing etc although I wonder whether they are just sizing her up and wondering whether she's a bar girl or not.

The other thing I noticed is that when we go out to Aeon 2 we get a lot more looks than when we go to Aeon 1. Again, I think its due to the different demographic in the 2 different areas.

Other than that Ricky...maybe you have a distinctive look haha :beer3:
User avatar
RickyBobby
BANNED
Posts: 1086
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:44 pm
Reputation: 357
Cambodia

Re: the staring and the spying

Post by RickyBobby » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:32 am

clutchcargo wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:19 am
RickyBobby wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:04 am
I was very aware of this at first, it seems like the national pasttime/hobby in Cambodia. It made me quite uncomfortable at first. Now I am just oblivious to it. It just takes time to get used to it. What bothered me more that I am now mostly oblivious to also is the stares from (mostly female) middle aged judgy tourists who watched me with my lady. Again a lot of it might have just been in my own head, but I felt like they were judging me, as some kind of pervert, and thinking she was a sex worker or something like that which most especially made me feel bad for her.
I guess it depends too where you hang around. In Daun Penh, I rarely get stared at by khmers either by myself or with Mrs Cargo. They are just used to the many foreigners around and barangs with younger girls. OTOH I've noticed a few foreigners have a quick glimpse at us..maybe there's a hint of jealousy from guys with their older, overweight wives. The wives think it's either cool or disapprove.

I notice some khmer girls look at Mrs Cargo but I think it's more to do with the clothes she's wearing etc although I wonder whether they are just sizing her up and wondering whether she's a bar girl or not.

The other thing I noticed is that when we go out to Aeon 2 we get a lot more looks than when we go to Aeon 1. Again, I think its due to the different demographic in the 2 different areas.

Other than that Ricky...maybe you have a distinctive look haha :beer3:
There is that, but when I was uncomfortable with PDA's i.e. hand holding etc; she said to me once "I don't think you're comfortable with me" and I had to explain I wasn't comfortable with the stares. Meanwhile she was so proud of me. Anyhow, she explained to me that she also gets stared at, and also even when shes alone, which makes sense I guess being a pretty young woman. So she wasn't more aware of attention being different with or without me.

I might look more extinct than distinct, haha.
"Dear Lord Baby Jesus, Lyin in a Manger"
Post Reply Previous topicNext topic
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post