Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 13 August 2004




The Gecko: 13 August 2004

The Gecko: 13 August 2004

It's

always an eye opener to visit Vietnam. A traveler who just came back to Phnom Penh

after touring through the Delta over 450 kilometers by boat, motodup and bus had

the following observations:

** Eighty percent of the areas visited were electrified.

** Between 60 and 80 percent of all houses seen had televisions.

** Buoy markers with red or green lights on canals and the various branches of the

Mekong are powered by solar power.

** In the town of Thoai Son on the Rach Gia-Long Xuyen Canal at 6:45pm on August

5, six out of ten families that had their television turned on were watching a Tom

& Jerry cartoon dubbed in Vietnamese.

** Rach Gia is a pleasant enough provincial capital worth a visit. As a sign of the

times, a Starbucks has just opened there.

** The Hai Au Restaurant on the riverfront in Rach Gia just near the seaside offers

a splendid menu that includes the following:

Battered and crispy fried

pork womb

Boiled pork womb

Roasted birb on fire

Grilled beef with five spice

power

Boiled anabas with stale

rice

Steamed swimming ceab

with ginger

Roasted tortoise on coarse

salt

Salt water gish salad

Shark's air bladder soup

with crab meat

And the house specialty is: Tortoise, black chicken, snake & beef's feet braised

with herbs.

** A few armchair political pundits who listened to the PM's speech on July 25 in

Kampong Cham had raised eyebrows, especially with the use of the word 'aing' in reference

to troublemaker NGOs and civil society. The PM said he would find them "even

if you are underground".

** A package of 10 PPPosts-the issue with the lead story "New government formed

after Chea Sim leaves the country"-sent to Chau Doc by ferry were confiscated

by Vietnamese police at the Vinh Xuong border checkpoint on the Mekong. The person

carrying the papers was told they were "illegal" in Vietnam.

** The back channel analysis on the closing of the Martini Pub goes as follows: Some

senior Military Police official that lives near the club was fed up with all the

noise until 3am so he ordered the place closed. If it had been a matter of money,

the cash would have been paid. Simple as that.

* American citizens wishing to register to vote for this upcoming November presidential

elections can get help to do so from Hurley Scroggins at the Cantina on the waterfront.

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