Tuktuk Lady interview "My day starts at 4.30 am…."

The huge majority of Tuktuk drivers work on the streets in Phnom Penh nowadays are male. T here are only few women transporting passengers as this is commonly regarded as men’s work. Along the street near Toul Tom Pong market there is a Tuktuk lady who stands by most of the time.

Q: Would you mind if I would like to know about your background, please?
A: My name is Ky Neang, 54, was born in Koh Thom, Kandal Province. I have worked as Tuktuk driver since 2013. I was married in 1985 and have four sons, two of them are deafmute. My husband works as a teacher in Toul Tom Pong Primary school. I also have to take care of my parents, who are disabled. In my family, I have a huge responsibility for my parents and sons.

Q: How much do you earn per day?
A: I can only earn between 5$ to 10$ per day, sometimes 20$ or 25$ depending on how many rides I get. In some case, for a long ride to the outskirt of town, I could earn approximately 35$.

Q: Can the money that you gain from driving Tuktuk support your whole family?
A: I am poor and unhealthy. But the money that I and my husband earn is enough to support my family every day.

Q: Are you the owner the Tuktuk?
A: Yes, I am the owner.

Q: Do you have another job besides driving Tuktuk?
A: Currently I have only one job. But back in 2007 I sold fruits such as pineapple, water lemon, and driving Tuktuk is the last job in my life.

Q: Why do you choose Tuktuk driver as a job?
A: I think driving Tuktuk can help to support my family. Regarding my previous jobs none of them could possibly support my living like my current job. That is why I chose driving Tuktuk.

Q: What time do you usually start working?
A: My typical day starts at 4:30am, then work into the day, not stopping until seven or eight in the evening.

Q: Have you ever been cheated by a customer?
A: No, I have not experienced yet.

Q: How much English can you speak with foreign customer?
A: With no real formal education or schooling, I can only speak a little bit English to communicate with my foreign customers.

Q: What kind of problems have you been facing with this job?
A: The only problems I have encountered have come from the men I work alongside. They always discriminate against me and say something to offend or despise me, but I do not care what they say.

Q: Does your family say something against you?
A: My family does not discriminate against me.

Q: Do you want to change to do another job, such as social work, or something else…?
A: No, I don’t. I love my job, with a passion and willing to drive Tuktuk forever without changing to another job.


Date 17 May 2016
Interview: Suon Tithbotomroth