The Spitters

By Adam Capelin


Cambodians, like the Vietnamese, love a good spit.  It’s rare to witness the act.  Instead you see it by hearing it.  There’s two sounds to a good spit, and there’s a compulsion to look away as soon as you hear the first one.  I call this the spit reflex.  We’ve all heard it on the playing field or some where or other.  It starts with a grating of air against the wind pipe – a sharp forced air mucus collection in the back of the throat.  This is followed with a predictable thwackk! As the phlegm projectile is expelled from the mouth and hits the ground.  By this point, if you’re not looking away, it’s probably you that’s been doing the spitting and your admiring your aim. 

I shouldn’t blame the Cambodians, or the Vietnamese.  Maybe I’m being too quick to judge – and it’s just a small portion of the population that are the spitters.  Or maybe it’s the same guy that’s been following us around for weeks.  In any case, watch where you step!



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3 responses to “The Spitters

  1. Lauren

    I think I’ve said it before…but wait till India…it’s like a national catchcry 🙂

  2. Lindsay

    When I was in China they had billboards that said “no spit.” A good philosophy, me thinks…

  3. I think that same guy was in Indonesia about 30 years ago. Your story certainly reminds me of our adventures in Asia and a very long night in Bali with that guy outside our bedroom on the footpath.

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