Pic’ in the Picture: A different idea of business

We took this picture at the market of Siem Reap (Cambodia), the town that sees more than 1 million tourists go by per year to see the Angkor Wat complex. It’s full of tourists everywhere, but luckily at some places, people still live their life quietly and behave like they have been behaving for ages.

Relaxing while doing business

Relaxing while doing business

One example of “typical Asian behaviour” is to do business “their way”. If in Europe we are used to highly attentive vendors, always standing right next to you, trying to help you in some way or another, in Asia it’s quite often just the opposite. We always were surprised to see people sitting in the middle of their vegetables and watching the TV intently without paying attention to passing customers at all. Or the vendor wouldn’t even be at his/her place, because he or she would be watching some highly intriguing mobile phone gadget at a neighbouring stall. At this picture, the lady is actually checking her text messages in a hammock that she had put up in the middle of sausages and other meat.

And we are not saying that they do it wrong, quite the contrary! Everything is much more relaxed and easy-going and we often felt invited to have a quiet look around without being “pushed” from all sides. Maybe a model to think about for people planning on doing business!

Vera & Jean-Christophe