When I met Benjamin Phayso, the owner of Bright Angkor Market, a Cambodian bodega in Lowell, MA, I didn’t have the right equipment to film him, nor even the time to interview him. I took two sets of pictures and left, then I sent them to him. He soon responded with this email, which I’m including just as he sent it to me.
Hi Peter Bates, I am, Benjamin Phayso, I would like to reply your email and I very happy to anwser your questions, I am came from Cambodia, my origiopnal is Cambodian Citizen and now I am American Citizen, I arrived to the United States of America since 1985 at New York, in Bronx, when I was coming since that year, I started to go to school and I start to working part time job, it was 23 years old already so I have to live like this, in 1989 I became a monk stayed at Bronx, New York until I 1992 I moved to Lowell of Massachusetts, so on 1995 I was give up and leave from monk style and come back home live with my mother and take care them, because at that times they was sick and also I try to find a job and I got a job as specialize Electric soldering company, I was working at 400 federal st., Andover, Ma. 01810, In 2005 I was requesting for volunteer unemployment and I desired to try to find a Business, so now I got this business since August 25th,2005 and I working so hard and have alot a problems about the a lot a people working and some of people gambling lazy and some people do drugs & robbery and my store since I was buy until now they did robed 5 times.Yes, I was marriage 1997 life so happy, I was working very hard for living an I got two family house two new and I got a business now we brake down she toke every things with the two kids and the house, 4o1ks, new car and money, leave me with owed every things to work just myself started from 7:00am to 9:00pm no home to live and working for pay big bills and child support and also now business not working good and working many hours nobody help, because we can not trust nobody only the family. My parents, they was old since we were arrived to U.S, since I was coming to U.S until now in whole family no one have a store just me. to own the and working it is not easy if we don't have a family switch around. Thank you for asking me. very respectfully yours, Benjamin Phayso