W edding fever has struck Phnom Penh, especially among several senior officials
from FUNCINPEC who, after resisting the temptation for many decades, have
finally decided to take the plunge.
Co-Minister of Defence Tea Chamrath,
Minister of Tourism Veng Sereyvuth and Secretary of State for Defence Ek
Sereywath, so the Gecko hears, are all headed down the road towards matrimonial
bliss in the next few months. Details of who the lucky ladies are have been
extremely difficult to pry loose from the grooms-to-be. The only thing heard so
far is that H.E. Chamrath's fiancee is a woman thirty years his junior who got
the green light for the wedding from her parents after a fortune teller said
their daughter would marry an "older man".
An UNTAC veteran was in town
recently. He said that in the heady days of 1992 when Phase II broke down after
the Khmer Rouge refused to canton and demobilize their troops, General
Sanderson's comment was "they've saved us". Apparently, according to the
ex-UNTAC officer, the UN had no detailed plans in place for how it was going to
take care of feeding, clothing, housing and - most importantly - keeping busy
and out of trouble 100,000-plus cantonned soldiers.
If anybody wants to
hear a stormy tale about life on the high seas, ask Barry about his boat.
Casino fever is slowly percolating around Phnom Penh. One veteran card
shark who's been having a go at the Holiday International said he saw the wife
of an Undersecretary of State plop down a $30,000 bet at the roulette table -
and lose! Someone needs to come up with a name for the headache you get after
the fever breaks. It's likely there will be an increase in the number of such
cases about town in the days ahead.
A world famous environmental expert
was in town recently. He said his 75-year old father gave him this advice: 1)
always keep your sense of humor; and 2) never sleep with someone who has more
problems than you do.
The mystery of the headless, legless torso that
washed up on Ochateal Beach in Kompong Som on April 22 remains unsolved. The
cops were called. When they arrived on the scene several hours later, they had a
quick look and then left. The torso washed back out to sea only to show up
several days later on the beach close to the military base. No word at press
time on the torso's latest whereabouts.