Miss Money, that is. She runs a little kiosk in the Central Market of Phnom Penh. And, she takes Visa/MasterCard. I give these vendors props for showing up to their workplace day-in-and-day-out. I treat them with respect.
This trip I want to get all of my shopping completed during the front half. It seems I am always rushing around on the last day gathering items for friends and family.
Miss Money sells cheap jewelry, but it is some of the best fake stuff I have seen. I like a fair deal. I dislike trying to rip off the vendors. They need to earn a living; they have families to support and bills to pay. Miss Money is a fair trader. Yet, a little bargaining was in order. It would not be proper to pay face value.
It took about 45 minutes to decide what I wanted and to negotiate the final price. The deal was fair to us both. She made a profit because after we settled on the price, she threw in for free, two leather wristbands and two woven ankle bracelets.
I verified with Miss Money if she took credit cards. Visa to be exact. I wanted to save my cash. Her business card indicated she did. She confirmed with a head shake “Yes” she did take Visa (Miss Money doesn’t speak English, but Chantha was with me to help translate).
She told me she would take me to the “Bank” to use my card. We walked through the market to a little bank located inside. But it wasn’t a bank, it was an ATM. I asked, “You mean you want me to get cash out of my account?” She shook her head yes. I laughed and replied, “I have cash, I want to charge it!” I did not want to use my ATM.
I opened my wallet and pulled out $83. She smacked me on the arm as if to say, You made me walk all the way over here and you are giving me cash from your wallet? Why didn’t you give me cash back at my shop! Another communication break down. No big deal…I wanted to save my cash.
After the transaction everyone was happy and laughing about our clumsy communication. Miss Money is now my friend.
Treat others as you would want to be treated. That is my approach with everyone I meet in Cambodia. I will buy from Miss Money again, but not with a credit card.