Saturday, June 4, 2011


I’ve met many different people from all over the world but no one comes close to the Cambodian people I’ve encountered on my travels. I truly believe their national slogan should be “Cambodia, Kingdom of Smiles” but I’m sure they’d never be taken seriously again!

When you pull out your camera they are happy to be photographed, smiling easily into the lens. They say thank-you when you refuse their services and they say yes please when you order something. Now this could very well be a lost in translation thing and they’re actually mentally flipping you off and their smile actually means get the hell out of my country you cheap foreigner. Yet I’d put a great deal of money on the fact that they are not thinking that at all!

We bought a few books off this kid. He was such a charming good lil' salesman! "I'll see you when you see me!" he said before heading out of the restaurant. We saw him the next day across town and he came in to say hi!

Over the course of our month in “Cambodia, Kingdom of Smiles” I’ve lost track of how many times one of us has happily expressed how nice the people in Cambodia are.

The people at our guesthouse were lovely, very attentive and never missed an opportunity to say hi “Hello Ally!” “Hello Morgan” (Megan is apparently a difficult name to pronounce!). The guesthouse across the road where we ate countless meals was even friendlier. We weren’t even staying there and they treated us like queens deserving of 5 star service. They didn’t care that we were clearly budget backpackers wearing the same thing for the 4th day in a row. One day we were just walking by and our favourite tiny waitress stuck her head through the wall of foliage to say hi, her smile literally stretching from ear to ear. Although now that I think about it they could have been ridiculously nice to us because we were amazing tippers… but we were amazing tippers because they were so nice to us… it’s a vicious circle but I think we’re all winners!

I think we could all learn a great deal from the Cambodian people. Like how to let bygones be bygones and live for the moment instead of letting the past live for us.

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