** Frank Sinatra's death struck a note of sadness around the world, even here in
Cambodia. In response to a faxed message from Agence France Presse to His
Majesty King Sihanouk concerning the subject, the King responded: "I have always
admired Frank Sinatra as a singer and equally as a film star. I have at my home many
records and tapes of songs of this illustrious artist. My favorites are 'My Way'
and 'Strangers in the Night'. I will never forget Frank Sinatra, an exceptional human
** How does one prepare for a ministerial post in the new government? According to
informed sources, Hok Lundy - perhaps expecting a promotion after the elections for
services rendered - recently visited Germany for some liposuction treatment on his
** It's official. The word is out that all incoming election observers have been
advised that a visit to the FCCC and the Heart of Darkness is a mandatory component
of their orientation process.
Officials have determined that the standard training module for election observers
may lack a full exposure to the wide range of issues related to the overall polling
process, not to mention the broader "Cambodian context".
Accordingly, short- and long-term observers have been encouraged to seek out contacts
with the diverse panoply of viewpoints represented at the two distinguished watering
holes, including those of drunk journalists with a two-minute attention span, shrill-yet-caring
NGO workers, sourpuss investors who haven't made a dime but paid through the nose
for the opportunity to lose their shirts, drug-addled backpackers named "Like
Wow", highly-paid consultants who see problems as per diemed opportunities,
armchair political pundits now famous because they've latched on to a country where
finding the truth is simple, and an assorted, motley crew of rapidly-aging hangers-on
whose purpose in life is still a mystery, especially to themselves.
And if all you observers get a bit overwelmed by the cacophonous diversity of opinion
on what's really happening in-country, you can always check out the Martini Pub and
practice your sign language skills.
** The EU ambassadorial troika in Phnom Penh tasked with determining the freeness
and fairness of the elections has lost one of its legs and the diplomatic cocktail
circuit is a bit at a loss for words. The Ger-man ambassador has decided to tie the
knot which will involve nine-weeks leave. He'll be back one week before the polls,
just in time to make a seasoned, in-depth analysis of the entire process.