written & photographed by Chakriya PHOU
What is common saying of seller?
My thing is good.
I would like to tell you a thing had happened between my uncle and a seller - woman - sold durian.
Story took place in Battambang province.
My uncle traveled to Battambang for business with his business partner.
Day before he came back to Phnom Penh, he went to market to buy thing - anything that could not find in Phnom Penh - for my grand mother.
He strolled around for a while then his eyes caught durian. He walked towards it.
The seller was glad to see customer. She promoted her durian to my uncle.
'Mr., please buy my durian. It is good. It's Cambodian durian.'
'Where is it from?'
In Phnom Penh at that time - 25 year ago- had only durian from Kampot. Uncle wanted grandma to have new taste.
'Is it really good?' My uncle said.
'Yes of course, it is good. It is sweet.' Seller claimed.
'Well, if it is not good?'
Hearing that, my uncle agreed to buy two big durians. After, he returned to his staying place.
He and his partner opened one durian and ate at night. It was not sweet because it was not yet ripe.
Next day, he and his partner were about to go back to Phnom Penh, but they went to market before they left - for his partner wanted to buy milk coconut and milk mango for his family and my uncle wanted them too.
The store selling milk coconut and milk mango was next to durian store yesterday.
My uncle remembered. He wanted to make joke with the seller - also, he thought perhaps he would be able to get one replace of not sweet durian last night - so he turned to seller and said, 'Remember me. I bought your durian yesterday.'
The seller looked at him and said smilingly, 'Yes, Mr. You want to buy more?'
'No.' My uncle shook head. 'I want to get money back because your durian is not sweet.'
The seller changed her face to be dry.
'I exchange you if durian is not yet opened.'
Hearing her speech, my uncle opened his eyes.
'If I don't open it, how can I eat it? If I don't eat it, how can I know it is sweet or not.'
The seller showed tense face to my uncle, 'If it is opened, I cannot give your money back.'
'Yesterday, you said I can bring it to you and take money back if it is not good.'
'If it is not opened...' Her word was hard and her face showed unpleasant expression.
'Hey, you said that your durian was good and sweet...'
'I'm not in durian. How can I know it's good or not good, it's sweet or not sweet.'
'Well, it is better if you are honest. If your stuff is not good, you should say it's not good.'
'If I say it's not good, will you buy?'
Her word shut my uncle's mouth.
He did not have word to reply to her.
After that, my uncle and his partner returned to car and drove back Phnom Penh.
Along the way, he told his partner and they shared laugh together.
It is considerate.
If seller says their stuff is not good, will customer buy?
Well, readers.. It is not related to honesty. It's business.