Seven years ago, when I told my brother that I was marrying my Cambodian boyfriend and we plan to live in Phnom Penh, he had this incredulous look in his face that just made me burst into laughter. Whhhatt??! Can we even call you on mobile?
My brother is a gadget-worshiper, a fashion-slave, a trend follower and for him Phnom Penh, being unheard of for decades is simply like being in exile. Some people could be really so naive and he still gets that incredulous look whenever I tell him Khmers are techno-savvy and really trendy when it comes to gadgets and they could easily be compared to their more affluent neighbors.
Perhaps so because Cambodia is a poor country and still on the path of development, that’s why people usually assume they don’t have the latest in gadgets and technology. But they couldn’t be more wrong. I’ve seen LCD TV’s here selling like hotcakes, there are mobile phone stores in almost every corner, shops with the latest laptops, computers, music players and every other conceivable gadget and gizmos can be easily found here. You’ll see teenagers and yuppies sporting über trendy PDA’s, the latest laptop models, iPhones. In fact, I love going shopping here for my gizmos coz they are much cheaper and I can easily cruise around looking for different choices.
Gee, even small internet shops here sports those flat screen monitors! Even when it comes to home appliances they all have the latest. No, they rarely use the box type airconditioners, they prefer those stylish split type aircons. Perhaps so because they have missed a lot. Like they didn’t get to enjoy the era of betamax, the black and white TV, the analog mobile phones etc so they jumped right up and they are enjoying the latest technology gadgetry.