C an you imagine what a truckload of Prahok smells like after sitting for
ten days in the sizzling March/April sun? Travelers on the road to Sisophon
haven't had to wonder; the whiff of rot has spread so far that road traffic has
literally been cutting mile-wide detours through rice fields to avoid a waylaid
lorry full of the pungent paste.
It all started quite simply when a
Prahok delivery man was stopped at a toll booth and told his permits were a
bit fishy. For a small fee, the driver was told, the problem could be solved but
he refused to take the bait. Negotiations proceeded to no avail and the long,
hot days went by. In the meantime, the truck was confiscated and left to ferment
by the side of the road. Mother nature took care of the rest of the story.
Although rumor has it that the truck driver is still in a bit of a pickle and
worried about getting pasted by his boss, but that the toll booth is now
unmanned with the constables last seen fleeing upwind for deeper
Hotels in Siem Reap seem to have gotten their noses a bit out of
joint as well. Several have taken to posting signs which read: "No weapons,
explosives or durians allowed on the premises. Guests possessing any of the
above must check them with the management."
Remember the $1.5 million in
fake hundred dollar bills that were confiscated from bad guys in Poipet
recently. Apparently, the cops were tipped off to the scam when the middleman
who was supposed to deliver the phoney dough to a contact in Phnom Penh found
out that his own commission had been paid to him in bogus notes. He wasn't very
happy about it and decided that crime doesn't pay.
Get ready for another
name change. An official of the Phnom Penh Municipality says that when the
restorations are finished at Wat Phnom, the city's namesake temple will be
called Preah Sakyamony Chedei.
The saga of Frenchman Franck Nolot's long
lost cameras has finally come to a pricey end. Nolot's photo equipment was
nicked by the KR over a year ago while he was down in Kampot. After the
government pushed the rebels out of Phnom Vour, Nolot learned that his gear had
been rescued intact when he saw a picture of it in Reasmey Kampuchea. But
getting it back from the RCAF turned out to be a bit of a squeeze, even with
official papers from the Ministry of Defence ordering the local boys in Kampot
to turn the cameras over. After some serious haggling, Nolot finally agreed to
pay the local commander $200 for his own stuff, but only after the general gave
him a receipt noting that the money would be used to reward the boys in his
battalion who had captured the equipment back from the KR.