For those of you paying attention to your fellow road users, you may have noticed this week how wearing a helmet and having mirrors on your moto has suddenly become popular. Earlier in the week, helmet wearing percentages were roughly 10 - 20%, by yesterday these have shot up to 40-50%. The same applies for mirrors, from a hardly noticeable 5-10%, yesterdays numbers were 40-50%. At the same time, police razzia's haven't increased much, so possibly our fellow-moto's know something we ignorants don't?
Then again in the past we've seen these percentages spike, only to drop a few weeks later, when the police are up to something more interesting.
- The previously mentioned taxi service is getting off to a good start, so writes Cambodge Soir (16 August, where has CC been?):
'The Sino-Khmer joint venture is transporting between 200 and 300 customers a day'.For just 12 cars, that means 15-25 customers per day, certainly encouraging. Luckily the article also clarifies what a taxi service is:
'This taxi company is a Sino-Khmer joint venture. Its particularity: each vehicle is equipped with a taxi meter'.And then a free philosophical questions as final statement:
'It is now the question whether this company will succeed. Six months ago, a Vietnamese company offering a similar service closed down. A few years ago, the public bus service launched by the government ended as a total failure. A sign of how difficult it is for the Cambodians to change their transportation habits. Indeed, how can one compete against the string of motodops and tuk-tuks which are available at every street corner?'
- Khmer 440 is always on top of everything topical: servicing waterlogged moto's
'I went home and street 13 was so flooded my bike got submerged'.A sign of the times?
- As if Thailand isn't falling apart already some sneaky figures have been carting off some of Thailand's best moto's to .... Cambodia! Hardly newsworthy, but Thai police with nothing else to do have been putting a halt to this. Tough luck Cambodia.
- Last week we focused on an imaginative tale published in Thailand, this week's fairy tale comes from the US. Once upon a time there was ... Sihanoukville:
Australian-owned guesthouses line its streets'Then Phnom Penh:
'Muddy Toyota Land Cruisers with Croix Rouge [Red Cross] logos have morphed into Lexus SUVs. Thai-style tuk-tuks - three-wheeled open taxis - have invaded. Ambitious office buildings are being added to the skyline'.Office buildings? Where? Thai-style tuk-tuks? The PP tuk-tuks are inherently Cambo-bred.
Going to Kep?
'The route through Phnom Penh's dusty suburbs, past garment factories and swarms of Khmer schoolchildren in uniform, seemed to take forever. But we eventually wound south on two-lane National Route 3, traversing the monotone Cambodian plain. Only as the temperature dipped and we approached the coastal mountains did the scenery gain intrigue, just as the paved road ended for a bone-jarring 20-mile-drive to the outskirts of Kep'.As compared to
'Bokor Hill Station, perched at an elevation of 3,500 feet at the end of a bone-jarring 26-mile ride'.Basically if you read this article, do you recognize it? Or has some editor brought in some 'finishing' touches?
Has anyone noticed that street 51 is disappearing before our eyes? Beware of the stick!(Near Elsewhere)
The place to be? 'The Place' a posh new fitness / Chinese restaurant / sky bar / dentist (the latter is just a rumour) has opened up just beyond Independence monument on Sihanouk Blvd. Despite claims that it's the place to be, the owners are either expecting tough times or are ignorant, as they have only 6 parking spots. Let's see how they tackle this.