Tips and Tricks from Cambodia

February 19, 2013

Do you like trying Street Food? I myself like trying new food. It doesn't have to be at a popular restaurant, it doesn't have to be very healthy or clean. As long as the local could eat it, I have the gut to try. :)

If you are one of a kind. This is one of the types you shouldn't miss. Last Sunday, I and my friend went to a stall nearby Orussey Market for Sach Phak Lov (សាច់ផាក់លូវ) and its drink (ទឹកយ៉ាវម៉ា). This place is quite popular, I even heard a family who came from Australia came to this stall three days consecutively just before they travel back home.

Sach Phak Lov (សាច់ផាក់លូវ) Food Stall at Front Yard of a House Near Orussey Market 

A dish of Phak Lov for two people. 
I guess the best part of the dish is its sauce and veggie. Yum!

How tables are arranged and you probably could recognize the location

Another great drink! Soya Bean (left), Yav Ma Drink (right)
Oftentimes, people would travel a long way just to buy the Yav Ma drink. My dad and I like it alot. The taste is sweet and you could feel some sort of herbal. I think it is a healthy drink.

Price Range: 
For drink: It costs about 1000 Riel per glass, and 2500 Riel per bottle
For Phak Lov: It probably cost 15000 Riel for two persons. 

Location: around Orussey Market, if you are standing right in front of the main gate, then the stall is on the right of Orussey market. You need to talk and turn left, then walk straight til the third gate of Orussey market.

February 13, 2013

I used to think that getting a job through network is not rewarding. It always made me feel like I have no ability to find a job on my own.  

But then, I think about the use of having a Recommendation Letter. If you could get a Recommendation Letter from a supervisor at workplace, then you are more likely to find a job. It is actually from the higher, the better. The thing is that people could know that employee better through the letter or the network before they decide to employ. They do not want to risk employing someone they have never heard of before. 

The problems could be both on the task fulfillment and also on the behaviors at workplace. Some might just come to work and is not that sociable so it might be hard to communicate; and some might be sociable, but is not very proactive. To avoid such problems, employment through network takes place. 

However, I still think it is not very rewarding and discouraging for employees to seek for a new job. It took me about four months to find a new job. It made me feel so discouraging that I would not be qualified for any workplaces; and moreover, I could see lots of fresh graduate looking so fine and found a new job in just a few weeks.

Also, from here I also want to raise a problem arising nowadays; and that is good positions are often filled. For example, one workplace wishes to employ a new employee, then announce the recruitment to public. Hundreds have applied, but at the end of the day, it's the internal employees who also applied got the position. 

Why? Because the internal people know better about the organization and its needs; and also the organization knows about that person better than the other candidates. Also, that individual is of course better qualified than others where he could answer most of the questions during the interview.

Here is another answer to that why, a NGOs posted a job announcement on Cambodia Daily, again hundreds have applied, but those people might have very slight chance for an interview because normally NGOs work on project and when the project ends their staff contract will be ended as well. Some of those people might be lucky and find a new job, but some would wait for the same NGOs to start a new project. So, who else should they employ beside their previous staff? and those people know about the NGOs better than the others.   

Personally, I have been employed through network twice. Once was at HML Law Firm & Consultants, at that time, my friend Chenda told me to apply for the Translator position at HML. I applied just like the other candidates. However, I had a network which was Chenda. I guess not just through the network that could get me the job, but it was the network which could facilitate the recommendation and the job announcement to me. I did not know much about the internal issue. However, after I was recruited, Chenda said the boss did ask her about my characteristics and some of my personal background.   

Later, in late 2012, after I resigned from ITC, my friend Sokha was on Maternity Leave and told me to apply for a short-term contract at her workplace - ILO. Again, that's what's so called network. There were 5 candidates as I was told. However, I was recruited for the position and later was favored by the  supervisor and he recommended me to apply for another higher position at the same workplace. So far, I have not been informed about the higher position whether I will get it or not. However, the intention of this post is to illustrate the bad and the good of networking to employment. 

Only til that day that it completely changed my mind regarding having a network to employment because now I believe that not everyone could reach us. It does not matter how good we are. It is better to have a network in addition to our qualifications. It is cool if you could get a job on your own hunt. However, many times jobs are filled by the network; and I am not saying those who are recruited through network are not great people. They are of course great people with great opportunities. If they are not qualified, those workplaces would not risk employing them, no matter how good behavior one has.


As above illustrations, I still have the negative ideas regarding networking to employment since it is a burden to people to find a job. The recruitment process could never be based on merit of the individual. 

Here, try not to confuse with Nepotism. Nepotism is completely a different thing. :) Anyway, what do you think about recruitment at workplace? 

February 5, 2013

In the past, at least to what I think, Phnom Penh was full of C110 or C90 motorbike. Not many people would buy any bikes with machine over C230 or maybe there were not too many available for all. However, in the late 2010s, quite many youngsters tend to buy Yamaha R6 which is C600 or CBR C1200. Those bikes are very fast; and who could afford such bikes are not poor. It is unlikely that they might pickpocket or rob; it is only possible to say that they might have their own clan. I actually want one of that if I were physically fitted.


In Cambodia, riding big bikes could be considered as gangsters, robbers, or pickpocket because the truth is many of them have their own gangs. With fast bike, they could escape easily. Thus, it has become a stereotype for people here to judge big bikers; and I am not saying they are wrong, I just want to open up another perspectives to all of the Khmers thatt not all of them are gangsters. There are several other reasons behind owning a big bike.


1. First, I would like to introduce you to a type of big bike - FTR 223 which was made in Japan, model 2002. I bought it two years ago for 2000 USD which is pretty reasonable if you compare it to other smaller bikes which possibly cost up to 3300 USD. I chose this bike for its shape and weight. It has that little gangster look in which I consider charming :D and it is not too heavy for a small guy like me. Furthermore, I am sure that I will not lose a lot of money when it comes to selling since quite many have asked whether I want to sell with their offers. 

2. The bike consumes pretty less petroleum. I normally pay 5 USD for 150 Kilometers which is somehow less than other sorts of smaller bike.

3. With its uncommon manual gear, I feel safe when I get home at night time despite the fact that robbery/crime rate in Phnom Penh is not low. I guess people would not spend time chasing after the big bike and not everyone knows how to use it.

4. I feel the strength and masculinity for those who own such big bikes. As you could read on the Vehicle Ownership Card, you will see that those small bikes are considered as female bike while a bigger ones are considered as male's bike.

5. With such well-made Japanese bike, I could travel short distance to province or to my land nearby Phnom Penh. Others might possibly use small bike on those roads as well, but the thing is, with the stronger forks of FTR, I would feel less rough.

6. With the speed which is just right for city ride, FTR could get me to work or to places faster than others. However, I also bear in mind that safety first and I would not ride over 50 Kilometers per hour inside Phnom Penh; and also, I don't ride that zig-zag like teens do.

7. When it comes to rainy season, I do not have to worry about the flooded street like others do. It is pretty safe for me to travel within the flooded part in the city.

And yeah, these are my reasons for owning a big bike. Will you continue to pre-judge or change your mind regarding big bike owners? Well, remember when you educate younger generations not to judge a book by its cover. I hope you can do the same here. 

February 2, 2013

According to Wikipedia,
Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit. This recruited sales force is referred to as the participant's "downline", and can provide multiple levels of compensation. Other terms for MLM include pyramid selling, network marketing, and referral marketing.
Most commonly, the salespeople are expected to sell products directly to consumers by means of relationship referrals and word of mouth marketing.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-level_marketing


In Cambodia, MLM is often called Network Marketing. Some people do not know what it means by the term Network Marketing as they are not familiar with the term and do not even know that they are being in the game, what they know is that they could make a lot of money without much effort.

Are we clear with the definition? :) Let's go to the next part. I am going to share what I have experienced, not what you might have heard of in any books or elsewhere. Thus, please excuse me and bear with my personal idea regarding MLM.

Network Marketing Process in Cambodia:
The top level tries to gather people through holding a workshop to explain about the benefits of MLM with very little focus on the quality of the product they sell, and will tell you a lot of successful stories; for example, some people could make 50,000 USD per month, some starters could earn 2,000 USD per week and stuff. Some people might be inspired and register to be a member immediately through paying a hundred dollars or so. However, some who are smart enough to doubt about the quality and understand that it is not easy to get the money as others expected; and what is even smarter, they do not spend a hundred of dollar on the product they have heard for the very first time - and do not know about the origin of the company, never heard even a bit of it.  Blah! I treat them as smart people.

How are you going to get more members in order to boost your sales? You may approach your friends, family, and relatives so that they can become your distributors. You are not sure of the quality, but since you are so much absorbed into it. You go advertise so that you could grow more network; all you need is distributors, a lot of them. After your friends realize that the product should not be that expensive and is not as good as they were told - they hate you.

MLM of medicine, for example, the top level might brings a few types of medicine and explain the benefits of them; after the presentation, he would ask you to try buy some; and those are not cheap. They would dare you to try it. Only if it works well with you that you should distribute. That's what you might be told. Sound nice, eh? All you could hear is easy-incoming money.

What I really hate about the idea of MLM is that in Cambodia. Friends who are so much absorbed into it do not want to tell you what they are doing. They suddenly drag you to hear what you do not want to spend a single minute on it.

For example, a classmate who took a Master degree in Public Administration with me gave me a call and told me there was an opportunity to make a lot of money in a month. I did seek for the reason, but he could not help but told me to attend a workshop. Later, I asked another classmate who attended the workshop which was informed by the same guy. He said the speakers advertised about a type of medicine which would work with many types of diseases. He was promoting more distributors. Distributors would get a lot of benefits as he could make a lot of commission without having to do anything. Just sit still and the money will grow.

After knowing what it is about, I immediately gave the guy a call and told him I am not interested. 

Lately, another friend told me that there would be a translation business and I might get a loyal client. First, she posted a comment on my Translation Ad that she might introduce me to her CEO and stuff. We agreed that we would meet at some points. One day, I went to meet her at her shop as she said she would be available to talk at that time. What I do not understand is why we can't talk on the phone when she has nothing for me to translate at the time being, I went there anyway. We spent a couple of seconds to talk about translation and lots more to drag me into MLM.

Later, I got back home, we chatted and I told her it is beyond my business scope. I want to focus on my 8 hours work and translation. Then, I also told her if her CEO is going to introduce me to MLM, not straight to Translation; then, we do not have to meet. The answer is there! She responded if I think so, then there is no need to meet. All in all, her CEO is about to spread the sermons as well.

Moreover, the price of the products that you purchase are double or triple higher than the regular price after three or four layers distributors. :D

I would call that kind of activities deceitful. 

Victims: 
The possible victims are provincial people, older generation, uneducated people, and greedy people.


I do not suggest any of my readers try that Network Marketing. Money never comes easy. Even if it does, it will spoil you. You are supposed to earn it tough. Never do the gold digging!

All I hope now is that those who are involved in MLM bring a lot of quality products, not just to cheat through network down the line.

   

Follow by Email