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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 03 November, 1995

The Gecko: 03 November, 1995

W ho would have guessed that there was such a thing as "Eclipse groupies"?

Now we know, having seen them first hand by the dozens. And they come in all shapes

and sizes, quite a few bulging at the seams, looking like they've been noshing away

at Eclipse burgers with gusto waiting for the next Big One.

One afficianado who made it to Angkor all the way from Austria poohed, poohed what

most reported was the next best thing to seeing God. He said that the Angkor eclipse

was only "mediocre" and that the one he saw back in '85 in Timbuctou was

"much, much better."

With all the journalists who made the trek to Siem Reap, one would have thought that

we'd have at least gotten the full story. Why didn't anyone report on the busload

of Brazilians who, after the event, were still so excited that they forced the driver

to stop so they could get off and dance the E-calypso in front of the Grand Hotel?

Some say that wisdom comes with age. One journalist who was on the top spire at Angkor

during the eclipse thought about yelling out "Hey, who turned out the lights?"

so that in his story he could write: "And when the eclipse reached totality

someone yelled out, 'Hey, who turned out the lights?'." He decided against using

an old trick he admitted employing in his long since departed, younger days.

A recent visitor who was staying at one of Phnom Penh's prestigious hotels said she

ordered a hamburger from room service and then waited, and waited, and waited. Finally,

the delivery man showed up at her door with an extremely apologetic look on his face.

He said he was very, very sorry. He didn't bring her a hamburger, because the hotel

was all out of ham. So, he'd brought her a beefburger instead and hoped she wouldn't


This comment was heard after the Scott verdict: "If he's guilty, his sentance

is too little; if he's innocent, its outrageous."

Last Friday's RAC arrival at Pochentong had an interesting mix of VIPs disembark

from the plane. First to get off was Foreign Minister Ung Huot, followed by his wife,

Uch Kiman, Pok Marina, two other Foreign Ministry senior officials, Sam Rainsy, Ahmad

Yahya and Nate Thayer. The assembled diplomatic corps caught the irony, and its reported

that there were a few nervous smiles. The only ones who didn't blink were Ahmad Yahya's

three kids, who immediately broke ranks and ran across the red carpet to their dad

shouting "Papa, Papa, Papa!"



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