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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Seller of noodles and rice gruel who is a quarter Vietnamese on 2-8-23--Siem Reap copy

Born in Cambodia in 1968, she's half Cambodian, a quarter Chinese and a quarter Vietnamese. In 1973, she fled back to Vietnam with her grandma when anti-Vietnamese pogroms erupted. After Vietnam defeated the Khmer Rouge in 1979, her family returned to Cambodia in 1980.

Her husband is a Cambodian who studied in Vietnam, so speaks Vietnamese well. Ten years ago, she got licensed as a tour guide, so after leading many tours of Vietnamese, her Vietnamese improved dramatically.

Her oldest child is 20-years-old and studying tourism. Her next oldest is 19 but has health issues so is still in the 10th grade. As I talked to her, this girl returned from school with a bottle of soda for her mom. Seeing me, she gave me a bottle also, and though I said I had drank enough, she insisted I take it. Chubby and cheerful, she exuded good will and happiness.

The lady said, "My daughter can only learn so much. She feels very bad about it, but I told her, 'It's OK, you don't have to be a good student. As long as I'm alive, I'll take care of you.' As you can see, she's a great daughter. She loves me."

In 1993, the Khmer Rouge killed 33 Vietnamese in Siem Reap, then in 1998, they murdered 23 Vietnamese in Chnok Tru, a floating village on Tonle Sap.

Keep in mind that Cambodia's strong man Hun Sen was installed by Vietnam in 1985 and speaks Vietnamese.

Selling noodles and rice gruel, she makes about $15 a day. After Chinese New Year, group tours from Vietnam have dissappeared, and many Vietnamese are also nervous about the mass return of Chinese tourists to Cambodia. They're afraid of being abruptly locked out of Vietnam should another Covid wave erupt.

As you can see, she's masked. She has had four shots, two Sinovacs, plus a Pfizer and an AstraZeneca. When I asked her about adverse effects, she admitted to having gotten a lot weaker.

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