If you took the average Cambodian and dropped him or her in the middle of the Cape flats, locals might very well assume that they are also just a local. And this would be totally excusable because the facial structures and chocolate(milk and dark) skintone of the Khmer people are not totally unlike that of my ethnic fellows.
But I was still surprised, when I was mistook for a Khmer woman on more than one occasion. This was before it dawned on me that I was amongst people who looked much like me. It was always Fin who got asked about my true origins, almost as if they assumed that I shunned my heritage and a direct question may lead to some dire consequences. I guess it was my rbf at work. The ones who dared to question always had a ready smile and friendly disposition and could not believe that people from another continent resembled their ethnicity so closely. And I can not say how many others addressed me in the Khmer language and got ignored with a firm hand. Unintentionally, of course!
And being with Fin didn’t help me either, as he was another European with his Asian bit on the side.
If I ever have to flee to another country and vanish, I’d consider Cambodia.
Shunning from your roots