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I AM THE EGG MAN

By: Expat Advisory Posted: January-01-2006 in
Expat Advisory

It's like walking on eggshells - the debate continues in the Cambodia Daily letters pages about loudspeaker-equipped egg vending carts. Are they too loud? Are foreigners too sensitive? Just what kinds of eggs are being sold anyway?

Expat-Advisory's intrepid Investigative Team hit the streets to get some perspective straight from the source.

What is your name?

'Barang'.

What do they call this kind of egg?

'Pong Mouen Ang Psoum Kreung Piseh' [Grilled chicken egg with special ingredients.]

How long have you been selling eggs?

One year.

How much does one egg cost?

One is five hundred riel.

On a good day, how many eggs do you sell?

Four hundred to seven hundred.

Do you have an area where you work?

Khien Svay, and outside Olympic Market.

Do you rent or own the egg cart?

My uncle owns it.

There are many egg carts. How does the business work?

There are two types [of vendor]. Some own a cart and know how to do it themselves. Others do it for a company. They sell [eggs] and get a percentage of the profits.

Before selling eggs, did you have a different job?

I was studying in high school before this.

What is the usual age for egg sellers?

Usually over twenty.

Who cooks the eggs?

My uncle.

This isn't the kind of egg with an embryo inside. The egg is broken and the insides [the yolk and white] are put in one bucket and mixed with special ingredients. [Including sugar, salt, and pepper.] Then the resulting mixture is put back in the shell, steamed for eight hours and then grilled.

Do some of the carts sell different kinds of eggs?

There are other kinds for sale. This kind of egg is the best. [The carts] usually sell this kind of egg.

Do foreigners ever buy the eggs?

Once two foreigners bought ten dollars worth of eggs to share with their friends, cyclo drivers and moto-taxis.

Do you think the loudspeaker is too loud?

If the volume is too loud, I can't hear people calling to buy the eggs.

What hours do you work?

I leave home at 8am and sell the eggs until I'm finished with them, sometimes 9pm to 10pm.

Will you continue with this job or do you have your eye on other work?

I'll continue, this is the only business I have. I'm doing this work in the place of my father, who is sick.

A foreigner commented in the newspaper that the egg carts are too loud. What is your opinion?

In the morning, if people are sleeping, the loudspeaker can affect them.

Do you play your speaker loud or soft?

In the early morning, I play it softly. Also at 12pm, 1pm when people are napping I also play it softly. From three pm onward I play it loudly.

How good has business been today?

Not so good. Only four hundred sold so far. Some people, they sell better than me. Six, seven hundred eggs per day.

Do sellers have set territories?

No. We respect each other. If another vendor is ahead of us, we go slowly and give them space.

How do you decide your route?

I will sell around here [the amusement park near the Naga Casino] until people go home, then I will go to the riverfront area.

Sounds like you have more eggs to sell today. Thanks for your time and good luck!

(By John Weeks. Thanks to Sieng Sothearwat for translation assist.)

More: EAS Forums http://www.expat-advisory.com/forums/cometh-the-egg-man-from-the-cambodi...

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