The word of “Nek Srae Chol Krong” is commonly heard to describe a person who out of date, behind high-tech, or get lost in the group. Within a friend zoon, this is not an irritated word to describe a person; it is a joke between friends. On the other hand, it is a meant word to be called to an unknown person.
I don’t hear or have to worry much about people might call me as “Nek Srae Chol Krong” a lot since I was born and live in the capital city unless on a particular day or in a discussion where I am so dumb to understand what is going on. Until when, I left Cambodia to study oversea where everything is very high-tech and modern from my point of view when I shall call myself a farmer enters the city. Cambodia is a developing country where our lifestyle, technology, and even education programs are very far behind from developed country. I grew up in a family with a average class, even though my parents would given me everything I need especially for school and a habit of not helping much around the house as we have a mate, there a limitation since we have to save and not to over spend to dine out in a fancy restaurant, to use the highest tech products out there, to study in an expensive school. Therefore, to compare my way of living was not luxury as the other rich kids.
Once I enter a new country, Canada, I felt like I lived in a luxury lifestyle where a house with big screen tv, air-conditioner, heater, fully equipped kitchen that I had to learn using them. The school also fully equipped with computers, gym, and hug library, clean and calm quiet where I was so excited to study. The outside of that all of those hug shopping malls, grocery stores, tall buildings …… to many things to be amazed. But these are not the very relate topic to the “Nek Srae Chol Krong” that I want to talk about.
The touchy feeling of way far behind and hard time I get was when I started to social life and study time. Not to mention I had to learn English, a simple as I wanted to learn how get something from a coffee shop. I knew I didn’t have a habit of drinking coffee, but I wanted to try getting a cup coffee, not knowing how to order a coffee and what should be put in the coffee. I went and ask:
Me: “Can I have a coffee please?”
Barista: “Which size?” …. As I looked with a question mark on my face, she continued “Small, medium, or Large?”
Me: “ Medium, please” I responded.
Barista: “Anything in your coffee?” ….. a pause sign, “milk or sugar in your coffee?”
Me: “Yes” answered as short as I never ordering coffee or how to drink that I should had told the Barista how many sugar or milk.
The Barista handed me the coffee and I paid for the order. There my first time ordering coffee. I felt kind of dumb though, but heh, I had to experience those kind of things to know where I’m about to live in for the next 4-5 years. It’s also hard for me to discover what I wanted to eat at a restaurant or drinks at a club. I didn’t know those Italian foods, cocktails, and other non-alcoholic drinks. At the time I left Cambodia, there wasn’t any American style of coffee shop, Italian restaurants, although there were some clubs and bars, but I had never experienced of going one. My life was always focusing on school and straight home after school. As the time passed, I began to know more with the help from my cousins, aunties and friends.
That’s not all, the most difficult part is schooling. I had a hard time participated in a group discussion and understand those examples from professors due to lack of knowledge especially experiencing in modern lifestyle. I was major in business management; a lot of discussions were about new products on the markets, a particular company innovation idea, advertising of those popular products, strategic planning etc. In Cambodia, I didn’t get access much to internet to know all of those from developed countries.
Though now are easier for access through internet, those high fashion and popular brand name products start coming to Cambodia. We had a lot of American coffee shop, Italian restaurants, grocery or supermarkets, shopping malls, good schools for kids these days get access to.
What I would recommend for anyone of you who planning to study oversea, try to read more international news and research paper, so that it will help your school life easier than me. I still check international news online or tvs such Channel New Asia, CNBC, CNN etc. Not that I looked down on local news, but I don’t read local news regularly. It contains too much bad news on accident, psycho people, and others just advertising news from those paid company. They put you in a bad mood; although the topics may get attention by the readers.
A little experienced living oversea from me, hope you enjoy reading! 🙂