There's a new twist on the security precautions people are taking around town
to make sure that prying ears don't listen in on phone calls. It used to be that
one just shut off a mobile phone to guarantee that some techie couldn't tap your
line. Now even that doesn't seem reliable. The new tricks are to take out the battery
or, even if the phone is turned off, take it into another room altogether and bury
it under a pillow.
** The Heart of Darkness is living up to its reputation. Last week an unhappy soldier
came by and insisted that the bar close early because a car was parked in the wrong
place. He seemed uninterested in discussing the problem and, to make his point, let
off two rounds from an AK crouched on his hip. Heart patrons got the message, after
some of the rookies in town ran for cover, and the pub was quickly evacuated.
The soldier got the message the next day from his superior who was not at all pleased
with the fit of unruly behaviour. The penalty for discharging his weapon was twenty
push-ups and a two-hour stint standing at attention in the mid-day sun.
** Who was it who said "Beware of experts"? An expat company had a car
stolen and they contacted some local security experts to try and get the vehicle
back, who said they had a pretty good idea where it might be. So, a whole bunch of
guys loaded to the teeth with B-40s and what-not headed down to Svay Rieng to set
up a stakeout along the border where a stolen car ring was well known for offloading
hot merchandise into Vietnam.
Sure enough, a vehicle came by and the trap was sprung. After a tense standoff the
crooks realised they were outgunned and gave up. The client in question was initially
delighted only to realize on closer inspection that the impounded car wasn't actually
his. No word on what happened to the seized vehicle, the crooks or what expert the
expat plans to contact next.
** Tom Maher has set up a new bar on St. 63, his third bar in Phnom Penh. Patrons
have dubbed it "T-3".
** In the midst of a deep, philosophical conversation with three Frenchmen, a dumb
Anglophone who keeps trying to improve his French asked: "What's the word in
French for 'daydream'? After a bit of pensive reflection came the response: "We
don't have a word for it. Don't worry, we'll find it." If anyone knows what
it is, please pass it along.