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Massage message

As an American tourist and guest in Cambodia, I have seen and experienced

more of Cambodia and its people than I have in the US. I have seen a good cross section

of various lifestyles and provinces from the North (Battambang, Siem Reap) to the

South (Sihanoukville).

In my observance, Cambodia is moving forward in positive fashion in spite of the

horrific years behind it. The Cambodian wounds run deep, but I see the stamina and

compassion that many Cambodians possess which will only lead to a productive and

peaceful country. It is also encouraging to see the concern and interaction of other

nations who are involved in helping to support the rebuilding of the infrastructure.

My friends and I had lunch in Phnom Penh at the Ponlork Restaurant, which over looks

the Tonle Sap river front. Very impressive! Great food, beautiful view, and wonderful

conversation with friends. What more could one desire?

As we finished our fine cuisine, one friend said, "Turn and look behind you".

There sat three Caucasians one table away with four or more young female restaurant

employees taking turns giving massages to these men in front of other customers.

They told the girls their names were Tom, Dick and Harry, with other inappropriate

conversation.

My friends and I did not feel their behavior was appropriate. It was my belief that

the Caucasian men were more sophisticated and possessed more class than what was

demonstrated at their table.

Phnom Penh has many massage facilities throughout the town. The restaurant was not

the place for such behavior.

Should the young Cambodian women have been allowed by restaurant management to be

patronized in this fashion? We feel that not only do we need to help the women build

self-esteem and dignity for themselves, but we also need to educate the foreign Caucasian

men that the Cambodian women are to be respected not used for the personal needs

of the Caucasian men.

With the many changes that have taken place in Cambodia, I expected more respect

towards women.

Please continue lifting the standards of the persona of the Cambodian women. The

Cambodian women that I have met during my stay all appear to possess the intelligence

and the desire to make great strides for themselves. They do not deserve to be used,

mistreated or exploited by anyone.

Keep on making the great strides for a greater Cambodia. Blessings to you all!

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