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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Siem Reap asides: Acronym city is seriously doing my head in

Siem Reap asides: Acronym city is seriously doing my head in

Siem Reap asides: Acronym city is seriously doing my head in

I'M now living in SR, having accepted a FTA as SRBC for the PPP, and I'm becoming increasingly SCO because, while in US terminology I'm neither a  NOR  nor a WAE OR, I have discovered I'm ensconced in an NGO-driven AC.

Let me translate.

Now that I'm living in Siem Reap (SR), having accepted a Full Time Assignment (FTA) as Siem Reap Bureau Chief (SRBC) for The Phnom Penh Post (PPP),   I'm becoming increasingly Seriously Cheesed Off (SCO) because, while in US (United States) terminology I'm neither a Non-Ordinary Resident (NOR)  nor a When Actually Employed (WAE) Ordinary Resident (OR) person, I have discovered I'm ensconced in a NonGovernmental Organisation (NGO) -driven Acronym City (AC).

Not that I can lay the blame solely on NGOs, which became acronyms years back, as embassies and a myriad of ordinary organisations (OOs) are also seriously playing the acronym game.

During the Khmer New Year break, I hunkered down in a cafe with a good supply of newspapers and magazines, and encountered a US embassy ad touting for staff from Siem Reap and other far-flung provinces.

The US embassy vacancy announcements (which for some reason they didn't call VAs - a missed chance there, guys) contained the following acronyms: PSA, AEFM, EFM, FMA, NORs, WAE, USG, COM, MOH and OR.

Sometimes the acronym was spelled out and explained, sometimes not. Other times, more acronyms were employed to describe one acronym, creating an unintelligible hotchpotch bordering on the satirical.

For example, the US embassy ad helpfully states: "Typically NORS are US Citizen EFMS and EFMS of FS, GS...."

Presumably, Americans can understand such nonsense, but to me it's a load of BS.

The numerous NGOs and GOs in Siem Reap also like to render their titles as acronyms, and thus we end up with organisations such as SiRCHESI (Siem Reap Citizens for Health, Educational and Social Issues.)

The World Bank is home to PECSA (Program to Enhance Capacity in Social Accountability). Scholarships to PECSA's Social Accountability School (which mysteriously is not rendered as an acronym - yet) are offered to CSOs (Civil Society Organisations) and CBOs (Community-based Organisations).

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport Second Education Sector Development Project (MEYSSESDP) informed me some time back that it is seeking an "ADB Loan- 2122-CAM (SF)", and good luck to them.

Equally good luck to their Extension of National Competitive Bidding (ENCB) for, among other things, "4 re-bid school buildings of the 5th phase of ESDP 11".

It's all too much for me  - I'm afraid I'm BTEB (Behind the Eight Ball), obviously suffering from ADD (Acronym Deficiency Disorder) and in desperate need of TLC.


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