Expresso Kamuchea

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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby tan » Sat Jun 25, 2005 7:16 pm

...that reminds me of a story on the internet, a friend of mine- big mark- found it on a newssite:
somebody compared our poor little steet to the worst area of prostitution in pattaya....
Agreed, the man came at a bad moment: two of our french neighbours were just having a dissagreement, one owed the other money, quite an amount- we do not know who owed whom- anyway they settled the argument with their fists.., My friend sam was also having an argument with drunken borrowin, and yes sam has a deadly aim with a flowerpot, and yes there is a brothel in the' ' hood...( it is the house with the mc donnald' s sign) and no we do not like having the place arround eighter, and just to make it worse, its run by yet another frenchman. To own a brothel as a barang is simply 'not done'- except for missing link brian, but his ladies are so old it qualifies as a charity as far as we are concerned, and anyway the place is in town. so. okay the guy did come at a bad time, still... he did not ask anyone what or how, just looked, walked off and wrote...
condmning the whole neighbourhood...
take care
tan
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby tan » Sun Jun 26, 2005 6:34 am

Home early, for a change, the sun is almost seting, the rain went somewhere else for now,and everything is coated in that red golden temple light, that we love so much, even the cows have a gleam to them, reflecting the specks of red earth that suffuse the air. in a few minutes all will turn greyish, only the sunset will take center stage, set the sky railing in all collours of red, just to leave us in complete darkness after just a few minutes of glory.
am listening to a dvd that a friend of mine in phnom penh burned for me . it is called ulisses, kind of minimal music, with a bend. we have no idea who wrote or played it, my friend got his dvd from a turkish guy who 'forgot where he sole it' anybody knowa what this is??? great sunset music!
thanks tan
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby piqaboo » Sun Jun 26, 2005 5:18 pm

originally posted by tan:
upon arrival at the guesthouse i have to make a split second decission : are we full?(i.e. do we want them?) there are three catergories to be absoloutely avoided: Ncv, dj, and dw.
NCV: no commercial value (needs no explanation)
Dj: dumb jerk: geographically challenged... high risk group...
dw, definite weirdo, the worst,luckily you can pick them out easy
I loved this. That wonderful split second decision, so important to a small business owner of any kind.

And your descriptions of people, neighborhoods, etc. I've never even thought of visiting Cambodia, but you bring that possibility to life. Thanks!
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby tan » Sun Jun 26, 2005 5:52 pm

....well, the latest guests turned out all right:
after sending away a few ncv's , you can hear them whining over the roar of the moto 'THE CHEAPEST ROOM", an italian couple came, end 40s showed them a room, fan, mosquitonet, bathroom, with what we call a europot, i.e. a 'normal' western toilet, antique funiture , handmade colloured bedding, writing table, good reading light. -how much? ' four dollard (US)- they; ok we give yoou two...
(sorry guys, or well not sorry,but no go.)
the next one is better: two austrian guys, mid thirties, waving the new geman "reise know how" guiid,(hurray, it' s out, so we will be "in geman hands" for most of the summer- of course our british neighbours will make siegfried line jokes for the rest of the summer too...the austrians start on the beer, and stay there till beachtime-sunset that is, then return to beer...
. room one is still taken by a british girl who took a shine to a french boatowner (wether boat or owner we do not know) and has been ' checking out' for at least a week, and still stays. te next rooms go to a group of german kids working as english teachers in Phnom Penh, down for the week end, and my friend D. and his family. D. is possibly one of the most collourful characters in cambo expatland, pretty wild, and the best friend anybody can wish for, great to have them,( only slightly wordse than the addams family) but great fun!
today again a few empties, so the game begins again....
tan
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby Shapley » Sun Jun 26, 2005 6:59 pm

tan,

I enjoy the posts very much, but I fell a couple days behind on my reading.

I logged in on the weekend, which is unusual, so I can get caught up.

Like, Piq, my interest in in Cambodia is now Piqued. Keep writing!

V/R
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby tan » Sun Jun 26, 2005 7:17 pm

at gordon' s coffee shop came up one of the better lines, we were talking about cambo politics, and somebody said... well they- the un- spent what? a couple of billions on the ellection, and then our minister president didn' t like the outcome, so...
today is going to be a rough one, coming to think of it, so will be the next few days: first i have to fire two westerners, will treat them fair, but this can not go on, their drug habit goes beyond the occasiional joint.
then tomorrow at 6am i will have to bus my way to trad in thailand through the mud , yet again, go to the atm, then take the bus back, two days 30 hrs in busses. on the bright side,
the scenery is breathtaking, will try to take some pictures, and on the way back, i usually fill up my guesthouse to capacity without even trying.
so if you do not hear anything from cAMBO ON TUESDAY, I' LL PROBABLY WILL BE TRYING TO PUSH A BUS OUT OF A MUDHOLE,
TAN
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby tan » Sun Jun 26, 2005 8:21 pm

..WELL ANOTHER STORM KEEPS ME HOME FOR JUST A LITTLE WHILE, SO MIGHT AS WELL FILL YOU IN ON SOME OF THE RECENT NEWS HERE:
my friend d. runs a security service, and trains the bodyguards of the powers that be. (whenever necessary i use his service, very efficient.)
had read the story he told me alredy somewhere, but this confirmas it): the siege in siam reap; the guards were bribed to look the other way. ($350us)
now there are new rules for body guard services, rules standard with my friends company from day one,though not for other sevices before, now he is swamped with work, had to race back to pp where he is based.
the reason i go now to thailand. Have the hunch there is another border conflict in the make:
the thais always try to take chunks out of cambo, if they had their way the temples of angkor were thai, well they are not! now they try to get the preah vihar, a temple just by the thai border.temple not so easy to acsess from our side, the thais have better roads, so if they can' t have the temple they steel it blind. a few years ago they took a big, and i mean big, relief. got found out, gave it back, or so you think, its the relief all right, only- an admittedly good-fake.
to add insult to injury the latest thai road map shows preah vihar to be on thai territory, an oversight,they claim, yeah, sure...
cambo not pleased, well pretty pissed off ( may i use this word on this site, if not let me know),
if the general population get their hakkles up on this, we just might burn down the thai embassy again, like we did a few years ago, diplomacy cambo style...
that will result in a border closing, so just to be on the safe side... hope i do not get caught on thai side...
we still do not know if there are toxic sea turtles, a guy from hawaai though claims there are.
bye, tan
tan
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby piqaboo » Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:26 am

originally posted by tan
..then our minister president didn' t like the outcome, so...
Isnt he the guy (name starts with H) that lost the first election, but put up such a stink that dual prime ministers were appointed, then he had the other guy assassinated?
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby tan » Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:22 pm

hun sen, well, no he did not kill the other guy, rannarith is his name, after having dual presidency for a few years he just kicked rannarith out, and took over. the last election hun sen won, well kind of.
Having said that, he is not as bad for our country
as the western press wants you to believe, well ok the rich get richer, to speak with leonard cohen, but.. the poor get less poor slowly, but steady. that is not to say they are doing well or that we have anything that resembles a working medical system yet, but if you compare the country with what it was five years ago....its getting better.
also the country is more stable than it has been for a long time, about a hundred years or so. and when i do look at those other clowns, well we're better off with him, our parliament is comprised of all the other fractions, and then the king has some say too, so who rules what and whom...(also the un left us with a constitution that is pretty much umworkable)
(the mere fact that america would like to see hun sen go alone makes us pro him, we have pretty bad experiences there, still trying to work our way out of the stone ages...)
tkae care
tan
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby piqaboo » Mon Jun 27, 2005 6:13 pm

Oop, yep. you have knocked my memory clear. He deposed him. In a twisted way, pretty funny.
Lose; kick up stink; get seconded to the job;kick out the guy who won.

I havent read that Hun Sen is bad for Cambodia, but just have that lingering memory that I dont like his methods. So Cambodia and the US have that in common ;) . (In fact, the very little I hear of Cambodia in the news, things seem to be going "ok".)

Your comment re America. Yeah. Thats sad but Cambodia is not alone in that, and we (America) have only ourselves to blame.

So, anyway, all this is in aid of "Yes Please! Do keep posting!"
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby tan » Mon Jun 27, 2005 6:23 pm

well, a typical snag, should be on the bus now. had the ticket,everything ready. workday over- firing et all- went ok, for as far as those things can, felt teribble, got comforted by little max and a big late- about 3pm- breakfast disguised as a french lunch. took a nightcap with our neighbour from the dive shop, bob comes up: cannot take the bus, must take boat.(????) bus broken.
seems thast the mealy bus got stuk in the bog and is still somewhere in the jungle. the other bus does not go until tomorrow. too late for my taste. so the boat it will be... so insted of whinig backpackers my comrades in arms will be touristes and khmers throwing up ,egalitairian at least. ( i do not get seasick, at least my first fifty years i have not been, let' s see if i can keep up this recotd...) the boat is faster and will leave at noon, more or less, and i will arrive- or not - at just about the same time in trad. crossing the border has become a slow process ever since the border guys have gotten a computer...
also will i have to take a moto, fight my way through a throng of thugs, no, koh kong is not anybody' s idea of a good place, one of those border towns that gives cambo a bad name, as if we didn' t have one already.
well not the first time, not the last time i make that trip, looking forward to coming home tomorrow....
tan
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby tan » Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:42 pm

Good morning!
back home and glad of it. this trip was no fun, but got everything done in record time.
The busride through the jungle- normaly something to enjoy was a nightmare, the bus company had 'sold' us to the owner of a crappy minibus, -red mud oozing through floor boards, torrential rain inside, as in very, very leaky roof, nasty and bad driver, overloading the bus so dangerously that we escaped death rather narrowly a few times. ran the bus into a pothole, got fender stuck, we had to push and shove for about an hour to dislodge bus, all this in a rainstorm that left us - and our posessions thoroughly drenched.
When we finally got to s'ville, about 18 hrs later the busdriver dropped me off at the guesthouse, where all was well: peacefull, happy, the routine gooing smoothly and friendly, place clean,full, guests happy, and everything nice and dry- the driver had the audacity to demand comission from bob for droping off a guest! bob took one look at the state i was in, ( as in look what the cat...) bob' s reaction is not printable in any language, then he took the two other forreign passengers of the bus too, chased the driver away, and found them a room- we were full at that time.
Happily my next trip will be to Phnom Penh!
we love going there, for about three days,then we are glad to go back home. to us pp is bright lights big city.
( if you can ge hold of a citymap, take a look if you do not believe me, but this must be one of the strangest places as street names go : of course there are all the royal families, norodom, sisowath, sihanouk, monivong etc. but then you will find represented; charles de gaulle. mao tse tung, confederation de la russie, pasteur, even the bothers chau chesco, wether this is ment as democtratie or just plain lazyness or a map of our checkered political history,nobody knows..) we do enjoy this diversity immensly, as in: when you get to mao tse tung, go right until you reach de gaulle... etc. )
PP has wonderful colonial architecture, some of it beautifully restored, some of it decreipt, waiting for a loving hand to bring back its former splendor. ( in one such effort the buildinng collapsed - it belonged to the ministry of interiour...)
sisowth quay, along the tonle batie, is an esplanade in the french style, almost all buidings are colonials, cafes, restaurants, hotels, and the odd shop that advertises : we sell all kind of coffin...
on sisowath i allight as soon as i arrive: there is a restaurant that i will visit immediately, have been gooing there for many years. until two years ago it was owned by a corsican gentleman of a certain age, a true hand of asia from the old days, and shall we euphemize well connected. full of stories and booze he would be a delight and a tresure trove of stories. he sold the restaurant to two friends of mine who run it lovingly and a tad more professional, without losing the spirit of the place. ever so often the corsican will forget that he sold the place and buy everybody a drink on the house, it is the silent understanding that the owners discreetly put the drinks on our respective bills.
situated on a street corner, palms the only boudary from the teeming streets,the river gleaming in the distance, the rain coming down in sheets one feels like sitting right in the middle of a film noir from the fifties, any moment a big black citroen will shoot arround the corner and commisaire maigret will appear to ask us 'where have we been on the........'
a few weeks ago the new owner go truely and utterly drunk. When he woke with an olymic hangover and crawled to the bar for a coffe, he found just that:
men in fifties suits drawing guns, dark vintage cars etc. he thought he had gone off the deep e nd. As it turned out a french film crew had taken over the place while he was dead out cold. when he asked his staff why he was not informed, they said: we try, but no can wake you, the pay many money, so we think maybe ok you like, here the money..' a considerable amount so i hear. when the film comes out, i will inform you.
bye, tan
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby Shapley » Thu Jun 30, 2005 8:04 am

Tan,

Welcome back!
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby Schmeelkie » Thu Jun 30, 2005 9:01 am

One more vote for you to keep posting! One could make a fun movie out of all this (even without the 1950's guys in black suits and old cars).

The travel bug bit me young, when my grandmother was traveling extensively through Europe and Asia (doubt she got to Cambodia) and would send us her itineraries. My brother and I would go over maps to see where she was and actually looked forward to the slideshows on our next visit. I've gotten to many cities in the US for conferences, also to Bristol, England (another conference - was sick though and didn't sightsee too much), Ireland (honeymoon) and the Caribean (sp?) - Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Martinique, Barbados and Aruba on a 'we're planning to get pregnant soon, better travel now-cruise'.

Anyway, I'm enjoying reading your posts and the travel logs of others on this site, as most of our travel these days is to see relatives with our toddler son.
"Up plus down equals flat" Pumpkin, 3 yrs, 10 mo, July '07
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby tan » Thu Jun 30, 2005 10:36 am

Hi. everybody, thanks for posting back!
am dead on my feet, or computer, a trying day..

Schmeelkie, your grandma sounds like a lady that i would have been honoured to have met!!
without wanting to sound feminist, my admiration goes out to the ladies that just got up up and went...
as i said today has been a mixwd bag; the junkiesi fired, who stole a lor of money of my business, and accused my khmer staff - (hope you read this, guys- if you do you ' ll find out who you are dealing with soon..),and then sent me a sacrcimonous message about my khmer staff stealing and not being up to../etc...
as you can see i am fed up. tried to be nice about those guys, but no can do.
on the bright side, got the equivalent to the michelin star in backpackerland awarded today. Let' s go guide)(
so, as my friend little max says. life is ying and yang,the good and the bad will cancel each other out, a good life should be a big fat zero, without hurting anybody...
sorry guys, need a break, will mail tomorrow need a few hours of sleep..
see youse tan
tan
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby RC » Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:14 pm

Your post from 6/29 is my favorite so far.

Hope things are looking up by the time you read this.
A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do, Nothing else.
Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby tan » Thu Jun 30, 2005 8:06 pm

good morning, or good evening in your case!
nothing is sadder than a beachtown in the rain.
It is so wet now that we have a hard time drying out at all. bob: no get dry today, only less wet maybe...
it will be a quiet day at the guesthouse, that will give me time to plan my trip to pp.
after lunch in the little restaurant i described yesterday, the rat race beginns: everybody who lives in the province has a big shopping list.
The tuol tuom puong, or russian market is the first stop. when the vietnamese occupied cambo it was the black market, where vietnamese and russian goods were to be had, hence the name.( its right off mao tse tung)
these days the market is a delight for expats and tourists alike: a messy array of just about anything one does or does not need: any and every computer program for $2.-. dvd' s of the newest movies, some not even released yet, cloth, textiles jewelry etc. I will need many meters, of brightly coloured cotton about half an acre or so to have bedding made for the new guesthouse and a few other odds and ends.
next stop is at Gloria' s. she is our gp, and a great lady. She put together the medical kit for the guesthouse and the jungle. it is- shall we say extremely complete. when she handed it to me she said, ; guys, do me a favour,don' t cross any international borders with this, and it is NOT FOR RECREATIONAL USE!
gloria is the only one in cambo who will give you a local aenesthetic for a ' cut out'.
When its rainy season a simple scratch can take weeks to heal, and ever so often a wound will turn septic. Then its time for the all feared cut out..
the infected area gets cut out with a straight razor and then shot up with bethadine, and closed with a stich or two.far from saying ' oh poor thing' when it happens to one of us, our first question is AND did you faint? (big mark once came crashing down and scared the pharmacist who did the job so badly that he got the treatment for free.)so you can imagine how much appreciated the novelty of the local aenesthetic is! gloria will refill our first aid kit while sharing some of the latest gossip,then in the middle of all this an emergency call will come and she will race off to wherever she is needed .
The next stop will be the ' house of spices' owned by a well fed friendly indian family. mother will look at the list for our indian restaurant and sigh,' yiea, it is so hard to take care of spices in this climate', and set to work. each and every baggie will be meticulously checked and rechecked by her: no weevils, no little stones, no mould no whatever else poses a threat to her beloved spices.
This will take forever, but it is worth the wait:the spices will be the very best.
the last stop- before the fun part starts- is to the t- shirt printer.we all make up text' s for t- shirts all the time, have them printed and happily sell them at our guesthouses. here some of the better ones: beerlao, more than just a breakfast drink.' 'if its tourist season, why can' t we shoot them' 'take me drunk i'm home'' cambodia plainlazy'. i' ll keep it with a simple 'cambodia, live it or leave it' this time. You really have to watch out here: spelling mistakes! once a thousand t-shirts got made up that said 'shave the children' s fund cambodia' oeps. these days they are a coveted collectors item, but somehow i don't think they were ment as such...
Now i will be fed up with shopping and call it a day, well kinda..
off to the fccc (forreign corrospondents club cambodia) right on sisowath on the first floor of a colonial villa: you can look out over the quay and the traffic mess that is considered the rush hour here, amidst motos, tuktuks busses suv' s and bicyles the elephant from wat phnom will ramble home, overturning every garbage can on the way looking for snacks. on the other side of the restaurant part you have a great view of the national museum, an ellegantly curved traditional roof, filled with one of the greatest collections of life bats anywhere on this planet. They kept dumping on the national art treasures- not good for the art- so the un decided to get rid of the bats.No way, the khmers would not stand for it. when asked why they said: but, it's their home!
so in the end the un gave in and built a second roof that protects the art, when you are in the museum you can hear the bats squeek and you can smell them too. at dusk they will fly out: millions and millions of bats allighting from the roof, in a band as wide as a highway. i once timed the exodus; 15 minutes in all.
i have been coming to the fccc for many years,to have a beer or two chill out on the art deco sofa' s before the more serious partying of the night will start...
gotta run, till tomorrow,bye
tan
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby tan » Fri Jul 01, 2005 8:01 pm

...somebody i know thinks he can get pictures on this site .Would you be interested??? if so we' ll give it a try.
thanks, tan
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby tan » Sat Jul 02, 2005 8:19 am

Hi again!
have a great july 4th weekend!
sorry, todayi did have no writing in me. normally i awake at 4 am, like everybody else, full of beans, take the dogs or a walk around the fishpond, well more of a waddle, as bulldogs go, make tea and start to write. today, it did not work. had that feeling between my shoulder blades, can nor really explain it, like something is not right. bob taught me to listen to it and act.)
and sure enough, things wer not right, a guest of mine had gotten very ill after the trip from koh kong to s' ville, the bad bus one that even left me rather scraggly a few days ago. bob had checked her into the peace klinic, where she, well survided... best we could do at that time of night.
she was better but not yet well. the ever good gloria in pp helped out, when we phoned her, gave medical advice, beeing not to well herself, having just had somebody die on her...
all' s well that ends well, at least in our case, poor gloria though, our patient is reduced to drinking enriched fluids and watching dvds for a few days,luckily she is a movie fan...
then a reservation and two more girls checked in, the girl who made the reservation was standing at the bus station in pp when somebody tried to rip her daypack off her , she resisted, as it was a drive by robbery, she got dragged along daypack and all for a few meters, some scrapes to desinfect, (she kept her daypack) and time and talk to give her back a feeling of savety, did the job...
so sorry i left you guys stranded in the fccc with a bunch of bats...
well all' s well that ends well, tomorrow i' ll take you back to pp, unless something spectacular happens.
have a good holliday,
tan
tan
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Re: Expresso Kamuchea

Postby tan » Sun Jul 03, 2005 7:42 am

Hi, will keep posting, the rains are on big time, and we do need it, it had been so dry that even the crocks in the reservoir started complaining...
life is getiing not any easier, we dig our way through water and mud.....
our poor guests are not prepared for this, they get sick, bitten by unknown insects, fall off bikes, medical and mental help tie up most of our working hours...
anyway, we were watching the bats in the national museum...

my next stop will be the other bars along sisowath quay, there is of course hurley' s cantina, great guy, does all the casting and wrangling for movies shot in cambo.. (highly likely resposible for my friends hangover shock, would we just like hurley) quite a lot, and runs his bar. next to hurely' s there is happy herb' s pizza- ganja= or weed is a spice like say, oregano in khmer cooking, until the un AND THE dea got cambo to make marijhuana illgal. now after cooking with this stuff for a couple of thousand years, this we find quite funny, annyway, nobody gives a....
the khmers though think the westerner hillarious for smoking that stuff.. like a khmer smoking oregano in the western world...anyway, ol' herb' s pizza's can be orderd normal, happy or very happy or exctatic.bon. you get the geral idaea..
next is the pink elephant.. richard the american-viet vet owner- died a few years ago, he loved cambo, and allways said he wanted to live and die here, got a stroke.. left the place to his khmer boyfriend of many years.. sien, his boyfriend keeps the place going as richard would have wanted it. sien had a bit of a problem when some western lawyer decided to talk his mum(80 years old- richard' s that is)to contest the will.sien won.
ok. let's say the gang is sitting at the pink tonight, big bikes standing out front, d' s security working overtime, there has been a sad increase in violent crime lately, everybody will sit with their face to the street, we all have our experiences there, we like to see when we have to ht the deck...
when you have to go to the bathroom you'll have to pass through the bar: on the wall a big PINK stuffed elephant and a big photo of ritchad,as we all knew him,underneath a collage of many, many western people, all drinking a beer , having a good time, when an expat passes this picture we will bow,ever so slightly..
no, it's not what you think, the elephant wall as it is called are our friends, the ones that died, a fun picture to touristes, a memorial to us...
to die here is called joining the elephant wall...
in what i call expatois, my friend chicago joe and me are trying to comiple an expatois dictionary,will keep us busy till we join..
sorry guys, will try to keep you laughing, one needs a sense of humor to live here, but, not it is not a third world disney land, more the true asia of the books you read as a child..
thanks tan
tan
don't judge book by the movie
tan
3rd Chair
 
Posts: 642
Joined: Thu May 12, 2005 12:01 am
Location: cambodia

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