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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 30 March, 2001

The Gecko: 30 March, 2001


THERE is trouble afoot Down Under! Was it a precurser to the resurgence of Pauline

Hanson and her One Nation Party which recently said Australia should cut all foreign

aid? Is AusAID next for the chop? Nobody knows for sure and even the embassy was

caught in the dark when the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's overseas TV service

suddenly disappeared from the screen last week.


While most viewers won't be shedding tears at the loss of "Neighbours",

some of the Oz community in Phnom Penh is already experiencing panic attacks at the

thought of no Aussie footie on weekends. There are rumors of signs of unrest at several

watering holes around town and experts are debating whether special counseling services

need to be set up to deal with sports addiction withdrawal symptoms. More importantly,

pundits are wondering if Australia is giving up on its oft-stated interest in being

"part of Asia".

A PPPost investigative inquiry has uncovered one tidbit of interest. The guy responsible

for the typo in the terse statement aired on the 23rd which read "Australia

Television will go off the air Friday 23nd March Jakarta time permanently,"

wasn't fired for the gaffe. That's because he'd already been made redundant in ABC

staffing cutbacks.

Travelers report that immigration officials at the Bavet checkpoint on the Cambodian-Vietnamese

border are now charging $1 for those without health certificates. The fine is not

mandatory but backpackers are told that if they don't pay they will have to pay $2

when they leave the Kingdom.

A journalist tried to run a spell check on "Myanmar" but all his computer

could come up with was "meaner".

Like carrying coals to Newcastle, the "Beneath the Banyan Trees" film

crew brought fog machines to Bokor. Believe it or not, the gyzmos were actually used,

although one of the bigger problems they had up top in the last week was too much

real fog.

Serious golfers are wondering if a bit of discipline can be imposed on some of

the more inexperienced duffers at the courses outside of Phnom Penh. One eager foursome

got stuck behind an intrepid eightsome that didn't understand the concept of "playing

through" and was hacking their way around the links as if they were trying to

clear a path through dense jungle. New etiquette rules are being urged.



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