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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 18-June-1993

The Gecko: 18-June-1993

The Gecko heard that the airport at Ban Lung, the capital of Rattanakiri province

in the newly-established "Autonomous Zone" has been quite busy of late.

The flights coming in aren't filled with defecting troops nor arms for any rebel

forces. Rather, the planes landing are loaded with cigarettes. You figure it out.

While stealing some of your neighbor's electricity seems to have become a full time

career for more than a few clever individuals in Phnom Penh, one of the embassies

in town has responded in kind. They now have someone on staff whose unofficial title

is Director of Electrical Cleansing. The electrician in question not only spends

much of his time burrowing around embassy residences, uncovering surreptitiously

spliced wires running throughout the neighborhood, but an added line item in his

job description entails following the leaky leads to whatever culprit in question

and delivering stern lectures on the penalties of trying to steal some juice again.

His sermons are electrifying.

A businessman in town was having some electrical problems of his own. Every time

he touched his fridge he got a shock. After checking and re-checking the appliance

he finally determined that it wasn't his icebox that was hot-it was the floor. Rubber

sandals solved that problem.

The Gecko heard a story of how True Love was blown up by UNTAC-literally. There was

a gal who worked for the electoral component who had a boyfriend in Prey Vihear.

On a visit to see him she noticed his piece of shrapnel and commented how it would

make a nifty paperweight. Some time later, back in Phnom Penh, she gets a call from

UNTAC security telling her to come right over as they have discovered a bomb sent

to her from Preah Vihear. In spite of her pleas, security destroys the parcel. End

of story? Not quite. A few days later DESs nationwide get a special message to be

on the alert for "strange parcels that might be booby-trapped and sent to try

and disrupt the elections."

An insurance company in town has sent around a circular reminding one and all that

coverage on incoming freight is now manditory per a decree issued by the Council

of Ministers. Sounds like the company is trying to cash in before the Council cashes

out.

The Foreign Correspondents Club of Cambodia opened with a splash last week. The only

unhappy participants at the innaugural gala were the bats hanging off the ceiling.

Some, in their search for an evening meal, flew a bit too low and hit the electric

fans and found themselves as side-dishes on some guests' plates with their wings

clipped-literally.

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