The Gecko heard that Mr. Akashi met with Hun Sen recently to discuss the issue
of donating UNTAC equipment to the new government. Apparently, Akashi said that the
U.N. was going to leave stuff behind valued at U.S.$ 60 million, take $60 million
with them and there was another $30 million still to be decided on. Akashi hinted
that the decision on the $30 million might be effected by the government's cooperation
on stopping all the thefts of UNTAC cars, some of which, the United Nations reports,
have been found incertainCAF general's front yards.
The Gecko has a better idea. Since the $60 million worth of equipment already committed
to the new government includes $7 million in vehicles, the United Nations should
just start deducting the value of each car stolen from what will be given away. When
the handover takes place the United Nations can just give the government a list of
the registration numbers for the stolen cars and note that "Hey, the cars are
here somewhere. You find them."
A disgruntled traveller in Bangkok reports that he tried to pay in cash dollars for
a plane ticket to the States. When he said he had just come from Cambodia the travel
agent returned his money saying that because it was probably fake they couldn't take
it. Bangkok-bound ticket-purchasers be advised. You never heard of Cambodia.
The Gecko heard one report from a traveller in Siem Reap who saw 20 armed Namibian
soldiers on an UNTAC helicopter. Inquiries with UNTAC officials on what the Namibians
were doing in Cambodia only produced blank faces and shrugged shoulders. If anyone
figures out the Namibian mystery, please let the Gecko know what's going on.
The Bulgarians. Again! Did you hear the joke about the Bulgarians who when flying
home set off a fire in the airplane's toilet, smuggled snakes
and monkeys on the plane and basically trashed the passenger cabin. UNTAC doesn't
think its so funny. They've told the remaining BulgoBatters that they can go home
The interim government has come up with an innovative way to raise some cash. They
say that the press will only be able to receive government press releases if mail
boxes are rented at the Ministry of Information for $120 a year. A boycott is brewing.
The Gecko hears that the PX is selling soap that prevents AIDS. Could someone please
check this one out. Sounds pretty far fetched.
If you stay at the Monoram hotel you might not want to take a room on the fourth
floor. While its well known that the top floor disco is basically a strobe©lit
knocking shop, it appears that some of the knockers have taken to doing just that,
wandering the fourth floor and pounding on doors looking for customers. One not-so-bemused
resident was woken up at 1 AM and he hadn't even asked for room service.
A radio fan reports that a FUNCINPEC broadcast recently came from one reporter travelling
around town in a car whose main job it seemed was to go by the markets and report
on how many Vietnamese were present.
Finally, many Cambodian interpreters working for UNTAC have learned a unique version
of the alphabet in English. Forget the ABC's, what you get now if you ask someone
to spell something is "Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta."