A shop owner bolsters my appreciation of Cambodians


This sleek all-in-one is not mine.

My printer mystified me.

Purchased here in Cambodia, the HP all-in-one device is three years old.  It worked fine until a couple of months ago, when it refused to print the information inside a form.

I tried everything, so I thought.  I changed online documents to PDFs, JPGs, Excel and Word, all to no avail.

Finally, it dawned on me that perhaps the printer’s software was incompatible with my computer.  I reinstalled everything from disk and the HP site.  Finally I was getting the color parts of my documents, but only faint grey where black should have been.

Then I took out the two ink cartridges and reinserted them.  Still no change.

I went through cleaning from the HP software and alignment.  Again, hopeless.

Ready to throw out the damn thing, I went with little hope to a modest printer-repair shop that someone had recommended on a site for local expats.  The recommendation was made with good reason, and this post is meant to celebrate the place.  (Let me sheepishly confess that sometimes my faith in local talent has been undeservedly low on the basis of what I have heard about various repair shops such as those meant to fix automobiles.)

Wouldn’t you know that the owner, who spoke fluent English, fixed the printer in a minute.  He removed the ink cartridges, wiped the business end with a tissue, began by showing me how the relatively new black cartridge initially issued no ink and wiped it again.

“How much do I owe you?” I asked.


Of course, I gave him something, and he accepted the currency with evident reluctance.

I gather that my experience with payment is not so unusual.

When I mentioned the experience to my friend Bill, he told me that he had the same sort of conversation with someone who had fixed his broken eyeglasses and another merchant who took care of an issue with his mobile phone.

Wouldn’t you think in a country where individuals struggle financially that any excuse to charge for a service is the norm?

It warms my heart that my repair guy’s generosity is not so rare.  I’m also pretty damn happy that my printer is back in service.

Email: malcolmncarter@gmail.com

3 thoughts on “A shop owner bolsters my appreciation of Cambodians

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s