W ho would have guessed that there was such a thing as "Eclipse groupies"?
Now we know, having seen them first hand by the dozens. And they come in all shapes
and sizes, quite a few bulging at the seams, looking like they've been noshing away
at Eclipse burgers with gusto waiting for the next Big One.
One afficianado who made it to Angkor all the way from Austria poohed, poohed what
most reported was the next best thing to seeing God. He said that the Angkor eclipse
was only "mediocre" and that the one he saw back in '85 in Timbuctou was
"much, much better."
With all the journalists who made the trek to Siem Reap, one would have thought that
we'd have at least gotten the full story. Why didn't anyone report on the busload
of Brazilians who, after the event, were still so excited that they forced the driver
to stop so they could get off and dance the E-calypso in front of the Grand Hotel?
Some say that wisdom comes with age. One journalist who was on the top spire at Angkor
during the eclipse thought about yelling out "Hey, who turned out the lights?"
so that in his story he could write: "And when the eclipse reached totality
someone yelled out, 'Hey, who turned out the lights?'." He decided against using
an old trick he admitted employing in his long since departed, younger days.
A recent visitor who was staying at one of Phnom Penh's prestigious hotels said she
ordered a hamburger from room service and then waited, and waited, and waited. Finally,
the delivery man showed up at her door with an extremely apologetic look on his face.
He said he was very, very sorry. He didn't bring her a hamburger, because the hotel
was all out of ham. So, he'd brought her a beefburger instead and hoped she wouldn't
This comment was heard after the Scott verdict: "If he's guilty, his sentance
is too little; if he's innocent, its outrageous."
Last Friday's RAC arrival at Pochentong had an interesting mix of VIPs disembark
from the plane. First to get off was Foreign Minister Ung Huot, followed by his wife,
Uch Kiman, Pok Marina, two other Foreign Ministry senior officials, Sam Rainsy, Ahmad
Yahya and Nate Thayer. The assembled diplomatic corps caught the irony, and its reported
that there were a few nervous smiles. The only ones who didn't blink were Ahmad Yahya's
three kids, who immediately broke ranks and ran across the red carpet to their dad
shouting "Papa, Papa, Papa!"