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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 27 November 1998

The Gecko: 27 November 1998

** Tracy and Lee celebrated their imminent marriage with a bang at the Hotel

Inter-Continental last Saturday.

A couple of dozen friends joined them for a bit of a bash and how else to add an

air of festivity but throw in some hot air balloons. The only problem was that the

guy in charge of the balloons couldn't find any helium and so, instead, filled them

with acetylene, which for the uninitiated is a colorless gas used in metal welding

and as an illuminant because it burns so well.

Need one say more? Okay, okay, a few third-hand details.

It's unclear if the detonator was a stray cigarette ash or just the heat of fresh

love blossoming. However, the explosion was described by one attendee who hit the

deck as a "molten flash" which sent everyone running for cover.

One guy had his eyebrows burned off, another ended up in the Aussie Defence Attache's

lap. The bride-to-be's veil was "disintegrated" according to one source.

Fortunately, she wasn't wearing it at the time.

After things calmed down, and the realization sunk in that it wasn't a grenade, there

was a perceptible movement towards the bar for another quick round to steady a few

shaky nerves.

** There's a new sign in Siem Reap put up as part of the Keep the City Clean

effort which reads: "Don't throw your trash on the ground. Throw it in the river."

** Video buffs be advised. The Bill Clinton tapes are on sale at the Russian

market for the low, low price of only $2. Don't pay more.

** One of the rumored but unconfirmed aspects surrounding the recent deal

to form a co-alition government is that Prince Ranariddh will get his house on St.

214 back and the dispute over his helicopter will be dropped. Work crews have been

sighted at the Prince's former residence where key aides were holed up in the July

'97 fighting under assault from CPP-aligned troops.

The house is getting spruced up and a CMAC vehicle was spotted outside last Monday.

Just a quick once-over for unexploded ordinance?

** Heard from a Cambodia expert: "I think it was poetic justice. It might

have either been the VOA or the Thai military [that killed Pol Pot]. But either way,

if someone had to execute him that was a good choice."

** Way back in September when MPs took their oaths in front of Angkor Wat,

after the ceremony 22 oppositionists boarded a plane and headed back to Phnom Penh.

Due to bad weather the flight was diverted to Ho Chi Minh city. The chagrined Funcinpecists

and SRP folks were not amused. Vietnamese authorities tried to encourage the VIPs

to spend the night but to no avail.

They dug their heels in, insisted the plane be re-fueled and flown back to Phnom




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