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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 28 May 1999

The Gecko: 28 May 1999

An interesting footnote to last month's demonstrations at the Hotel Le

Royal, where Cambodian employees went on strike for increased bonuses.

One

expat employee, who initially expressed some sympathy for the demonstrators,

eventually declined to join the barracades when she learned that strike leaders

were threatening to slash people's throats if they refused to

participate.

** What's wrong with expensing a little pasta?

A couple of Europe-based NGO workers were in Phnom Penh last week and

invited a few friends out for drinks. When the bill came, the guests wondered if

the NGO's home-office accountants would have any trouble with expensing 17 VBs.

"No problem, no problem," came the reply, but there was some fretting

over the Rizla cigarette papers on the tab. Hmmm, what to do?

And then,

in a stroke of genius, someone pulled out a pen and presto: "Rizlatoni" just

another Italian specialty on the menu for only a buck.

** The

Class of '99 White House Fellows came to Phnom Penh for a

look-see.

Considered some of the "Best and the Brightest" that America

has to offer, the 18 Fellows, who spend a year in high-powered positions within

the USG's executive branch in Washington, are also offered one trip overseas.

They decided Cambodia (and Vietnam and Thailand) was THE PLACE to visit,

which just goes to prove that these folks have the big picture all figured out.

In spite of their exalted status, and the hopes that all well-wishers

have for their continued contributions to the evolution of the species, the

Fellows look and behave like regular people.

They're friendly,

inquisitive, articulate, very polite and enjoy a hearty plate of Nachos. But

tobacco is a no-no.

"We don't smoke. We're Americans," quipped one

Fellow when offered a butt.

They did pass on one tidbit of

inside-the-beltway goss during their stay. . . Hilary is definitely running for

the Senate seat in New York.

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