C ontrary to wire service reports which had Prince Chakrapong "landing in Paris" after leaving Malaysia and passing through Thailand, the Gecko has heard that the Prince is actually still in the Land of Smiles and has recently been having meetings with senior Khmer Rouge officials on Thai soil. And, of course, all of this is taking place totally, absolutely, positively unbeknownst to Thai officials.
A local restauranteur has come up with a novel way to deal with neighbors stealing his electricity. He turned off everything in his shop using any juice, then on top of the city power added his own generator at full blast so that about 380 volts went merrily about the neighborhood blowing up TVs and refrigerators. He says he hasn't heard any complaints yet and his electric bill has gone way down.
There were more than a few unhappy faces in the Cambodian delegation at the recent international tourism conference held in Bangkok last week. The Royal Government delegation showed up on opening day at their booth to find that the flag above it was that of the Khmer Rouge.
Expat contractors are grumbling all over town. They say that the bidding, which opened last Monday, for a $500,000 airport construction project is already a done deal and that a Malaysian firm was given the "unofficial" nod as early as last week. Apparently, an offer of used aircraft that will be "donated" to the Kingdom helped sweeten the pot. At least five foreign firms were expected to submit bids for the project, which had taken up to three months to put together and cost about $10,000 each in staff time to produce. One disgruntled observer commented, "This tells the international community that the whole (bidding) process isn't fair. It's really a bad sign."
Some of the GI demining trainers roughing it at the Cambodiana for $180 a night are a bit miffed, and it's not with the quality of the room service. The source of their ire is the $20 fee hotel guards are charging them to bring their "friends" in after dark.
The Gecko hears that the government's military reform plan is starting to ripple through the senior ranks. Chief of Staff Ke Kimyan was spotted around town-minus one star on his shoulder lapel