'Barang' is officially the word for French. In a wider sense, 'barang' means any foreigner, in particular those of the white-skin variety. Cambodia used to be a part of French Indo-China (encompassing Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) so whities - Frenchies - it's all the same.
The 'klang barang' ability goes way past the humble mosquito. In a society that has yet to know the curse of political correctness, Cambodia is delightfully politically incorrect - at the barang's expense! Train tickets for foreigners are officially set at three times the local price. The medical centre proudly displays a sign for 'foreigner price ... Cambodian national price ...' Even the electricity bill is barang-loaded!
The electricity bill - before we took residency: 390 riel per unit - after we took residency, 720 riel per unit!
The best nose for barangs undoubtedly goes to the police. I got cop-stopped for the sixth time yesterday. That was precisely 24 hours after being stopped for the fifth time - for going through a green light. Re-read that - yes, that's correct!
I hope to get a pic of my favourite cop on the blog for you. He resides under the trees, corner 163 St and Mao Tse Tung, one of the main drags. I have realised that this fella is God's gift to me - my living lesson in overcoming intimidation. So, rather than avoiding this corner, I have chosen to embrace it. Four of the six pull-overs have been done by 'Henry'.
Interestingly, I see from this guy that when power is mis-used, authority is lost. It is a good life lesson.