Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Unbearable Truth Next Door

My neighbour keeps a bear in a cage. The cage is about 2 cubic metres, or put simply, really fucking small. It would be like me living in a phone booth. I really feel for the little guy (the bear, not the neighbour). When the bear gets grumpy, he gets really loud. He usually gets grumpy very early in the morning. This in turn makes me grumpy. I then becomes like a bear in the office. The bear is owned by Chinese business guy Oknha Duong Chhiv, a man who clearly doesn't value sleep, or bears, the way I do.

This is what Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen had to say about him...

"I am glad that we have the presence of Oknha Duong Chhiv, who is the Head of the Chinese Association in Cambodia. We have lots of associations but we have mobilized them to support the one China policy as set out by the Royal Government. Oknha Duong Chhiv should remember what I recommended in the past and today I have decided to confer a medal to you for first to recognize your contribution to the economic construction of Cambodia and second to thank for the implementation of the Royal Government's one-China policy"

This is what I have to say about him...

"If you're so fucking rich and successful, buy a bigger fucking cage for your bear, fucker."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Seal the Entertainer

We have it on good authority that black singing sensation Seal is in Phnom Penh. This quite famous man, (who takes his name from some type of magical ocean-going dog) was spotted lounging by the pool at Pavillion. Seal is a popular performance entertainer who sings about getting crazy. I'm told that he sings powerfully, and from the heart. Seal is also well known for his remarkable sense of style. This handsome man can wear all white, and totally pull it off. I would just NEVER think to match white pants with an unbuttoned white shirt! The performing Seal has also been known to experiment with radical facial hair designs, such as the goatee. This is what he looks like without a goatee.

For those who don't know, Pavillion is where the beautiful people of Phnom Penh play. Beautiful people are the ones who aren't afraid to show off their bodies in bikinis, or over-designed boardshorts, and often sport expensive sunglasses, and perhaps a trashy magazine. A lot of their fashions are based on communist uniforms, or suffer from design-creep. Design creep is a term I use to describe the a tendency of young designers to over-design by attaching unnecesary zips, buttons or graphics. I hope that one day you can Wikipedia this term. Anyway, they may be designers themselves, or perhaps work with street kids. There is sometimes a partial cross-over with the artistic community too. They laugh a lot, either at their own jokes or at the stories of Britney's shit fashions, as contained in the trashy magazines. They tend to be anywhere between 24 and 32 years of age. Some of them also take fancy notebook-style portable computer systems so that they can access the interweb, whilst enjoying passionfruit-based drinks. Life sure is good for these guys! The Fish Quiche is also very popular at Pavillion. (Again, I would never think to do that) There is a rumour that the swimming pool's water is fish-quiche-flavored. Perhaps this explains why Seal chooses to swim there. It doesn't explain what handsome singing sensation Seal would be doing in Cambodia though.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Cambodia's New Money

Apparently this is the new residence of the bossman of Cambodia's Royal Group, Kith Meng. Royal Group is behind the terrifically financial ANZ Royal Bank, Mobitel and CTN television (where too much out of tune live karaoke is never enough out of tune live karaoke). Anyway, who cares? This house is just unbelievably fucking huge. There was the Colloseum, there was Angkor Wat, and now there is this; what we believe to be Kith Meng's house on Norodom Blvd, Phnom Penh. Check out the fucking size of this house!

4 Corners recently ran a story on land issues affecting Phnom Penh. Among those who had inky ABC journo fingers pointed at them (for contributing to the problem of the landless poor in Phnom Penh through dubious land deals) were (blam!) Royal Group and (zing!) the Australian Embassy. But who cares? Check out the size of this house! It's massive. Blue Whale massive. And wait til it's finished. I'm guessing it will be even bigger when it is finished. Things tend to get bigger as you near completion. Take blue whale pregnancies, for example, or 'blogs'.

Or patronage systems. This seems like a good place to add that there is a rumour around town that Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen once tried to adopt Kith Meng as his son. I think it had a lot to do with how much he deeply loved the man. Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was mostly about their emotions. These days, men are expected to be emotional, as well as business savvy. Anyway, their emotions weren't strong enough to legally unite them as, um, Prime Minister and adopted mega-illionaire son-guy, so they remain sadly apart to this day. At least as far as the law goes. And they say those North-South Korea family separation stories are sad!

Truth be told, Kith Meng is a remarkable story - son of a wealthy father killed off by the Khmer Rouge, shipped off to Australia as a youngster, returns to fucked-up mother country to do serious business, and kicks ass. Power to him, I guess.

Anyway, check out the size of this house. It's so big that you could legally adopt some blue whales, pump in Atlantic sea water, and still manage to lose them! A year later, you could stagger home drunk, take the wrong elevator, accidentally end up in the east wing, and rediscover them, frollicking, chasing krill and spouting off, oblivious to the fact that they live in the home of a (we suspect) Cambodian-Australian businessman. "You bloody whales!" you'd mutter, as you closed the door and headed back down the stairs. The house is so big, that it is not impossible that it could be two more years after that before you re-discovered them, by which time they could have produced at least one offspring, given the right breeding conditions.

It's probably worth using this space for a shout out to the other Royal Group, the ROYAL FAMILY OF CAMBODIA. They may be irrelevant, but they sure are um, relevant to any discussion of Royal Groups in Cambodia. I personally think it bloody cheeky to pinch the name 'Royal' when you're actually not a god-king. Mind you, their house isn't all that impressive.