One curious visitor who came to town last week decided to pay a visit on
the Mekong River Commission to see what they were up to.
He had a extended chat with one of the officers there, and after wide-ranging discussions
on the Commission's riparian activities the question was posed "Have you ever
been out on the Mekong River itself?"
The Commission official responded: "What for?"
** Burmese foreign ministry officials are a bit befuddled. In getting ready
for the arrival of the new Cambodian ambassador for his posting to Rangoon, they
just happened to have a look-see at his diplomatic passport.
It appears that His Excellency Nhim Chantara lists as his profession "Husband
of Hun Sinath".
However, one can easily surmise that being married to the Prime Minister's sister
is, in fact, a full-time job.
** Asian values are insufficient for the incarcerated Ta Mok.
One prison official says that a new Western-style toilet had to be installed near
his cell as the one-legged KR general kept falling down when he tried to use the
traditional squatter-style facilities.
Duch, however, is making due with the existing loo.
** A Japanese visitor to Phnom Penh noted dryly that with the demise of the
KR a number of new industries might take off. "Just think," she said. "If
Cambodia develops a wine industry, they can call their reds 'Khmer Rouge'."
** The DNUM casino in Pailin district on the Thai border has been so profitable
that a new permanent concrete structure is under construction to replace the thatched-roof
The border zone is also undergoing a beautification campaign. Many of the vendors
that set up shops near the old casino have been moved in front of a nearby log pile
and were given Baht 2,000 to facilitate the move. When asked who paid them, everyone
responded without hesitation "Teng Boon Ma".
** The aid gravy train is back on track for a few lucky individuals.
A World Bank consultant has just been hired for a project in the Kingdom with a salary
of $12,500 per month. The salary is so low that it includes a housing allowance of
$120 per day.