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Man About Town: 3 Aug 2012

The ever-popular Dr Michael Sullivan has officially resigned as director of the Center for Khmer Studies, and will depart at the end of the year.

While director, he oversaw the construction of the new campus at Wat Damnak, with a new library and Research Centre. 

He introduced a new training program in Southeast Asian Studies and research methodology for Cambodian university students and faculty.

He led major international conferences and workshops, and recently launched a public lecture series in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

And he was instrumental in establishing CKS as an active member of the Association of Asian Scholars.

He will be missed.

Liking Pub Street is locally unfashionable. Certainly not expat-cool and perhaps politically incorrect. But Man About likes Pub Street – sort of.

At least once a week Man About can be found in a favorite restaurant, Sushi Bar Koh Kong, tucking into a $10 sashimi, and imbibing a potent $4 sake.

But people watching is what Pub Street is all about. The watching is done to a discordant backdrop of sound, feverishly generated by the disabled dudes sitting on the street going hell for leather on their instruments; the amplified Khmer music coming from several joints; sounds of soccer coming from the big screen TVs in some bars; the clapping of hands as tourists take in yet another Apsara show in assorted venues.

Pub Street really is only a strip of real estate about 500 meters long, but it’s the commercial engine of Siem Reap.

Over a year, more than a million people will have walked the walk along this small patch.

Bucket loads of tourists of all shapes, sizes, colours, creeds, denominations and ethnicities parade along the colourful and yes, garish, walkway and yet months can go by without spotting a local expat.

Which can at times be a plus. Occasionally one of the local expats working in the bars can be seen checking the scene.

The local tuk tuk drivers work the strip in pent-up anticipation of a fare, and on a nightly basis two or three working girls walk the walk, led by their roly poly ersatz mama san, scoping for trade, ready to zero in mosquito-like on unaccompanied white males.

It’s an endless parade of churning humanity clad in a variety of fashion and non-fashion. Where have they come from, where have they been going, where will they go, what fate awaits them? 

They become like ghosts constantly walking, constantly replacing each other, never-ending.

The Angkor Amateur Open celebrates the largest field yet in its brief four-year history, with 77 golfers having registered at time of writing.

There is a strong local element, with  the two leading Cambodia Amateur players in Ly Hong and Seng Van Seiha participating.

Fourteen nationalities are attending,  from Nepal to the Philippines. Two past champions are also attending in Scott Puzey, 2010 Champion,  and Don Bland to defend his title which he won in style last year.

This year’s winner will also receive two return flight tickets to Yangon courtesy of Myanmar Airlines.

There will be also be golf clinic from 3-4pm, hosted by Asian Tour professional Chris Rodgers.



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