Film buffs take note: French movie star Gerard Depardieu arrived in town Feb 27
to work on the Matt Dillon production. Anyone eager to catch a glimpse of the veteran
actor need only pass by the square in front of the Post Office where filming will
be going on for the next three or four days.
One embassy in town took such a beating when the near-dozen banks shut down without
notice in December that they've become rather gun shy about opening an account elsewhere.
To meet on-going fiscal needs, they now bring in around $250,000 in cash from Bangkok
each month in a suitcase. How does one declare this on the customs arrival form?
Inquiring minds want to know which donor official involved in providing funds to
support the Forest Crime Monitoring Unit (FCMU) was reprimanded for organizing his
own private hunting trip to Ratanakiri. Apparently, it was explained in no uncertain
terms to the would-be marksman that shooting rabbits in the bush was exactly what
the FCMU was trying to prevent.
Aspiring tour guides in Siem Reap are complaining that they are being stymied in
their career development plans as the powers-that-be are demanding $1,000 each for
the Tourist Guide License needed to ply the trade in the Angkor Temple area. However,
given the rise in English-language skills of the young hawkers around the temples,
even registered tour guides may face an uphill battle. One tourist was recently approached
by a wee trinket seller and when he declined to make a purchase received an "Oh
my Gawd!" Unfazed by the rebuff, when the young tyke blurted
out "I wanna die" a sale was finally confirmed.
A new phrase has entered the Khmer-language lexicon, but its origins are murky. Iraq
chikong, Iran chi lanh roughly translated means: Iraq [goes by] bicycle, Iran goes
by car. However, when asked where the phrase came from one solipsist replied:"You
know; remember when they bombed Kosovo?"
Keep your eyes peeled. Two of the ideas now in play to help sort out the city's traffic
woes include the installaation of parking meters (who gets the concession to sell
the tokens needed to use them?) and meter taxis. Industry insiders say that if a
meter taxi plan were approved, investors would flock to Phnom Penh to get in on the
action. But what about meter motodupes? Those could be a real hit.