Differences in culture - Obsevations

Hi Everyone,

I really love this country and I really love the people. The hearts of the Cambodian people, for the most part, are very pure. The Cambodian people have endured a civil war that has occurred within our lifetime and as I see it has set their country back 30-50 years.

Today I caught myself being the "complaining" expat that is not happy. I feel ashamed. I always try not to be the one that is told "if you don't like it go home" but today I felt those words coming out of my own mouth as I looked in the mirror.

Firstly, let me apologize to the Cambodian people that I work with. My behavior has been extremely western, and I have been complaining about the way you do things.

I am now working for a company that has placed a lot of responsibility. I am continually challenging them on the rules that they do not follow, and how that is affecting my staff. It has been a very frustrating week. But as I drive home and go through the 3rd red light with a few other moto drivers, I realize that in this country they have all the same rules and regulations. But they only follow them if they want to.

So unless there is a holiday coming up and the police officer needs some more "pay on the spot" fines, the road rules are "indicative suggestions" rather than rules. I am finding the same with the Cambodian Labour Relations, and the Ministry for Education. Any rules are but merely suggestions of ways to operate and not to be taken seriously. This is part of the culture and I will stop getting stressed about it. I will be the white scapegoat that is blamed when my employees do not get what they want, but hey, I know the labor laws very well now. I think that there has been a great advance in creating the laws and regulations that people must follow, however, there are no bodies to enforce the laws.

So I am sorry about my bad attitude. The time will come when you get red light cameras and the equivalent in government. But for now, it is time to enjoy the ride (sic).

Why did I write this? Mostly cathartic, and to write an apology to my Cambodian co-workers will probably never read...

A good and honest read, thanks for that.


Thanks, Joe. If you have admin rights on these topics, would you please correct my mis-spelling of the work "Observations". Anyone that reads this topic will observe that I cannot spell! LOL

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