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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 14 July 1993

The Gecko: 14 July 1993

The Gecko hears that the campaign to loot UNTAC of all its property is now underway

and can be expected to continue for the next three months. Its rumored that three

UN vehicles per day are getting stolen. UNTAC has now ordered its troops to make

sure that they don't leave their weapons in their cars when parked at hotels around

town. No need to turn a simple car theft into an armed robbery.

Two officers enjoying a cool one at the Gecko club now know how sophisticated the

heists have become. With their jeep sitting across the street, they watched as one

crook went and deftly broke into their vehicle, told the night guard that he was

the driver for the troops in question and quietly drove away never to be seen again.

The thought of their sidearms in the back seat only added to their chagrin.

Even UNTAC Admin guru Medili's car was stolen, his driver held up at gunpoint while

the crooks decided whether they should kill him or not.

Keep your eyes on those pre-fab buildings that the U.N. has put up all over the country

as they may have been built with a free-for-all giveaway in mind. One contractor

was heard to comment that they were only designed to be put up and not taken down.

The Gecko has learned about one of the best-kept secrets in Phnom Penh for those

with a sweet tooth. Check out the Pavlova desserts at the Oasis Restaurant. You'll

be back for more.

There's some great theatre at Pochentong these days. With all the UNTAC staff starting

to head home, Cambodia has become the world's largest re-exporter of karaoke players

(and rice cookers and VCRs and cassette players and you name it that can be plugged

into an electric socket). The airport

check-in counters are being assaulted daily by dozens of huge tin steamer trunks,

all stuffed with the latest in high-tech gadgetry, and with each trunk's owner frantically

pestering the staff to make sure the loot is properly marked for transhipment from

Bangkok to Manila, Dhaka, Delhi, Accra or other points around the globe.

If you're planning on travelling make sure you book your ticket early as most flights

are jammed to the gills. One Russian UNMO only managed to get on a flight after cajoling

a fellow countryman pilot in the native speak that he didn't mind standing up all

the way to Bangkok.

The list of failed eateries grows longer day by day. Ciao Bello bit the dust months

ago as did the San Mig Pub and L'Ineptsie. Add Le Bar to the list. Anyone know whatever

happened to that no name Malaysian restaurant on St. 118?

Remember the Boxer Rebellion. The residents at Kiwi House won't forget it. Last week

an undisclosed number of female assailants engaged in a midnight raid on the Kiwi

hangout. While they took no prisoners they did liberate a few souvenirs: four pairs

of shorts; one with red devils on them, two regulars and a fourth pair that was overdue

for retirement. Rumor has it that the Kiwis were well aware of the impending attack.

One pair of U-trou had a phone number stencilled on it with a note "Try calling

during regular office hours."

The team of German doctors at the field hospital has been rotated home with a new

batch in town ready to tackle any assignment. However some jobs are leaving the doctors

shaking their heads. The guy in the "Dermatology" section has been kept

busy. After only three days in country he had tended to 167 cases of VD.

The UNTAC jail is finally ready and open for business, and the Ghanaians, after refusing

to guard it, have agreed to man the gates. It cost $70,000 to construct and is supposed

to be so plush that criminals will be aching to get in. The lock-up is equipped with

washers and dryers so prisoners can tend to their own clothes once they figure out

that the machines are not some high-tech torture machine. One UNTAC official quipped

that maybe the UN will start arresting a few bad guys like the gent in Battambang

who tortures his inmates by lighting them on fire.

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