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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 8 December 2000

The Gecko: 8 December 2000

You got to love this country, at the very least for its ability to manufacture

rumors and then turn them into proverbial truths. The author of this august column

came home at 10:45 on December 1 and asked his night guard: "Aht tuan minh sakream

t'mei, t'mei, ah?"His guard replied, unfazed: "Aht tuan minh! Prahael minh

t'ngai saiek."Comforted by the knowledge that renewed fighting was more than

a day away, a comfortable night's sleep was enjoyed thoroughly.

A European aid worker would like to humbly request the powers-that-be to please instruct

their lads on the streets, the ones with the helmets and AKs who put a lid on security

the night of the fighting, not to try and steal stuff from innocent passers-by.

He says he was stopped at around 2am-ish, had an AK put to his head and then had

his phone fleeced. More than a bit unwisely, he grabbed the soldier who took his

phone and received two rifle butt blows to his back. They let him keep his phone

but kept the wad of cash nicked from his pocket. The guy is lucky he is still alive.

And yet another hapless lad. A Brit gets drunk at the China Club and tries to drive

home on his bike very late at night. He heads down towards Independence Monument

and, blurry-eyed, drives straight into the metal barricades set up to close off the

road.

The soldiers surround him, AKs at the ready, and demand $100 and his bike for the

trouble. One guy tries to start the motorcycle but the Brit stumbles on the back

and yanks the key. Perhaps the fall shook some sense into the lad, for he was able

to negotiate his way out of the pickle for a mere $15.

You can't keep a good man down. But then again, you can if you tie him up. That was

the lesson that patrons at the Pink Elephant and Happy Herb Bistro learned the other

day when a friendly all-day Sunday drinking binge turned ugly in the early evening

hours. The boozy comraderie of the three amigos quickly turned into a melee as tourists

and regulars alike scattered as the three threw punches, overturned tables and tossed

flower pots at each other. The excitement ended when the star pugilist of the three

was held to the ground and hog-tied by an alliance of concerned staff and patrons,

overseen by the man's wife.

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