Ataxi driver in Battambang
picked up two Chinese at the airport who said they wanted
to go into town to make a phone call to confirm their
hotel reservations. The driver took them to an interphone
but the guys couldn't make the call. The driver noticed
that the number was for Siem Reap and told them so. They
responded "Yeah, yeah, we know. We're in Siem
After a bit of explanation, the chagrined would-not-be
visitors to Angkor Wat agreed to let the cabbie take them
back to Phnom Penh for the bargain price of $130.
**Ambo Sven Linder had his big farewell party at the
Cam-bodiana last Tuesday. Heaps of CPP VIPs showed up but
none from the opposition. The closest Funcinpec got to
the festivities was Sisowath Sirirath. He was downstairs
in the lobby buying pastries.
** One demonstrator at Democracy Square, before it was
shut down, was asked about the banner which read "We
support Balinsky/Young formula". The obviously
well-informed protester replied: "Oh, that means
America supports us. You know Monica Balinsky, big
problem... she's Young!"
** There must be a conspiracy here. After all MPs took
their oaths at Angkor Wat, King Sihanouk hosted a lunch
at the Grand Hotel where Funcinpec, SRP and CPP
parliamentarians sat at their respective tables with,
according to one source, no inter-party chit-chat. One of
the tunes struck up by the pianist for the gala occasion
was "Send in the Clowns".
** An overseas volunteeer aid worker was attending a
seminar on budgeting for schools in Prey Veng. One school
principal was asked what his projected budget for the
coming year was. The reply: $28.
** Former US Congressman Stephen Solarz seems to have
irked his fellow board members at the National Democratic
Institute with his "Miracle on the Mekong"
comment after the election. They recently chucked him off
It appears Solarz has had second thoughts himself. At a
recent private meeting he is alleged to have said:
"The miracle on the Mekong has turned into a
massacre on the Mekong."
** A reporter from Cambodia observed the recent state
elections in Bavaria, Germany on September 12. He asked
voters leaving one polling station if they believed the
election was free and fair and if there was any voter
intimidation during the electoral campaign. They looked
at him in disbelief as if he came from some other planet,
answered "yes" to the first question and
"no" to the second, and then ambled off to
** Sources in Bangkok say the convicted-then-amnestied
1994 coup plotter Sin Sen stays at the same hotel as Gen.
Nhek Bun Chhay during visits to the fair City of Angels.
Its a tiny little establishment south of Sathorn.
** In response to a letter to the editor entitled
"Let's Ban the Stupid" one of our avid readers,
Bruce Roberts from Lakewood, CA sent in this year's
nominees for the Darwin Award "an annual honor given
to the person who did the universal human gene pool the
biggest service by getting killed in the most
extraordinarily stupid way." A few selected 1998
nominees and honorable mentions follow:
** In Detroit, USA, a 41-year-old man got stuck and
drowned in two feet of water after squeezing head first
through an 18-inch wide sewer grate to retrieve his keys.
** A 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker, who
"totally zoned when he ran," according to his
wife, accidentally jogged off a 200-foot high cliff on
his daily run.
** Sylvester Briddell, 26, from Delaware, USA, was killed
in February as he won a bet with friends who said he
would not put a revolver loaded with four bullets into
his mouth and pull the trigger.
** In February, according to police in Ontario, Canada,
Daniel Kolta, 27, and Randy Taylor, 33, died in a head-on
collision, thus earning a tie in the game of chicken they
were playing with their snowmobiles.
** In France, Jacques LeFevrier left nothing to chance
when he decided to commit suicide. He stood at the top of
a tall cliff and tied a noose around his neck. He tied
the other end of the rope around a large rock. He drank
some poison and set fire to his clothes. He even tried to
shoot himself at the last moment. He jumped and fired the
pistol. The bullet missed him and cut through the rope.
Free of the threat of hanging, he plunged into the sea.
The sudden dunking extinguished the flames and made him
vomit the poison. He was dragged out of the water by a
fisherman but died in hospital from hypothermia.
** In North Carolina, USA a man died on a beach when an
8-foot-deep hole he had dug into the sand caved in as he
sat inside it. Beachgoers said Daniel Jones dug the hole
for fun, or protection from the wind, and had been
sitting in a beach chair at the bottom when it collapsed,
burying him beneath five feet of sand.
** In February, Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed in
California, USA as he fell face-first through the ceiling
of a bicycle shop he was burglarizing. Death was caused
when the long flashlight he had placed in his mouth (to
keep his hands free) rammed into the base of his skull as
he hit the floor.