Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Diary of a Tuol Kork Madam

Diary of a Tuol Kork Madam

Diary of a Tuol Kork Madam

Day 1

My house opens daily about 7.30am. One by one, all of the girls got up. They bathed,

put on makeup and had breakfast. After that everyone sat in front of the door to

attract clients and paint their nails. Today, Miss Kim was chosen to take the first

client. He was a Cambodian and a happy man, so we hoped business would proceed well

but about 2pm it began to rain. Oh no! There weren't going to be any clients and

we needed to pick up more clients in the evening. But tonight there is no electricity,

so we only made a little more than 80,000 riel all day. My business lost some money.

The house costs 16,000 riels per day plus 5,000 riels for the soldier to keep security

and order. Oh, it was okay, because nothing went wrong today.

Day 2

Everything occurred as usual. Today Miss Li and Miss Ha started the sales. The

girls ate, made up and received clients. I took care of the other work (buying clothes,

medicine). There was no electricity this evening and it also rained. We had only

one table of Malaysians and took 20,000 riel, so we got ready to go dancing and I

had to pay 10,000 riel for motor taxi expenses and drinks. I lived one more day in

Cambodia safely...

Day 3

Of all the week, the prostitutes have happiest faces on Saturday and Sunday, my

shop too. Even at 8am, clients were coming into my shop. They were Vietnamese and

Cambodian. The last table of the evening was full of Thais. The evening was joyful

and comfortable both on the client and prostitute sides. In fact, if the clients

are young Cambodian students, I have to keep an eye on them because they usually

give us problems. I feel that they don't like Vietnamese who live in Cambodia and

particularly brothels like ours. I work for my living. I don't need to know what

they think about us. We only want to live here for this stage of our lives.

Day 4

Round and round, sitting and standing, in and out, so it goes. Clients came and

if they come sometimes I have peace of mind (it means money is fair and we have no

problems). I am very anxious when male clients in soldier or police uniforms come

in. Once, two Cambodians in police uniform with guns and a mobile phone came here

on a Dream motorbike. I still remember the numbers on their uniforms. They came to

beg money for gasoline and a pack of 555 cigarettes the first time. The second time

they drank iced lemonade, smoked a packet of cigarettes and made love with the girls.

The third time these two men came they didn't drink, but wanted to sleep with the

prostitutes. I asked for money (5,000 riel) and they threatened to take me to their

office where they said I'd have to pay 140,000 riel. The last time they also asked

me to make love with them. I told them I didn't do that. At that time I thought they

might put their guns to my neck, but they could not carry out that bad intention.

I was sad and sick of this business. Many, many times I have wanted to go back to

Vietnam, but I haven't got enough money yet, so I must be patient for a few more

months.

Day 5

Today there were not many clients, but at 11am some Cambodian soldiers came in

to ask for money. I explained my problems and tried so hard to negotiate with them.

In the end I had to give them money. Last night, one by one, others came here to

demand money. I had to give them as they asked. If I don't give money, something

might go wrong. Glasses, dishes, furniture in the house would be destroyed, even

the altar they would destroy - that happened about 10 days ago. Business was bad

today. Money is needed for the house rent...I'm worrying about the next few days.

Day 6

This morning I had to pay money to all of the girls for last week. In short, I

like to be fair. After paying them, I went to the market to buy them a few special

things - clothes, medicine and some makeup. I do this for the girls' comfort and

for their fair work. Today business was good, my shop closed about 11pm while a few

neighbouring shops were still open, but I felt tired and wanted to go to bed early.

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group