Crossing Cambodia

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Chasing Cars, March 16 2009

Virtually nothing to report, yawn, yawn. I hate this economic turndown! Nobody gets out and about to report on something unbelievable / normal for Cambodia.

Did you notice that somebody has donated paint to the Phnom Penh traffic department. They are painting all kinds of yellow and white lines, thick/thin, single/double. It's confusing all the traffic users! I even saw some new STOP signs! Being totally disregarded! Ha!
  • Officials are now targetting parked cars. The city lacks any parking facilties, such that all sidewalks and even streets themselves are packed with parked cars. The Phnom Penh Post article though is a bit secretive:
    'Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Chreang Sophann said the proposed disciplinary measure, which no officials could elaborate on [because they failed to show up at work?], is designed to curb traffic congestion and would target hotels, restaurants and business centres.
    "I don't know when this would start because we are waiting for a decision from the governor," Chreang Sophann said. "It is a draft proposal and the decision depends on the governor."
    Great, more clamp downs on ghosts. But wait a minute.
    'Chreang Sophann said the decision to draft the proposal was reached during a March 4 meeting at which city officials discussed the problem of traffic congestion on the capital's streets'.
    A draft? Man, even if it were passed the men in blue will not enforce it over and beyond 48 hours. And man, these guys are busy:
    'Tin Prasoer, chief of Phnom Penh's Traffic Police, said about 100 motorists were fined for parking their cars on the street last year'.
    A resepected parking official from where I come from, does this by himself, alone in 1 day and that's his daily average!
    'He [the same githead] said he hoped public enthusiasm for the proposed crackdown on on-street parking would match that shown for the recent law requiring motorbike drivers to wear helmets'.
    I'm falling off my chair here. Enthusiasm? Helmets? Nowadays most (60%, down from 80/90%) drive without! My god, what a country, what a city, what a people! What a news rag to put this on paper ....
  • [after taking medication] Meanwhile in Siem Reap, authorities are more pro-pedestrian. Or for the time-being:
    'a large group of police gave businesses a warning on Monday before enforcing the regulation Tuesday morning. "If anything, it'll make it easier and open up the area more," Alex said [pub owner], "But I dare say it won't take long before people start sneaking their furniture back out again."
  • Instead the other blog mentions that the guys with cash have been financing a training for the guys in blue. What did they learn? How to enforce the learn? Nope! How to operate a speed gun. How to do an alcohol test. What happened to walking the line! Fail proof!
    "Yeah man, what this gun he like. He not shoot. Better give us big real gun. Best way to stop bad driver. White guy give us no good gun. Better him give $20. We poor guy, all day stand in sun. Him have no helmet."
  • Confrontation on the high seas? No, it's just the Tonle Sap and just in Siem Reap.
    'A South-Korean company, which is operating more than 100 boats, seems to be monopolizing the local market, and by doing so, it tries to push aside its competitors, in particular those belonging to the Association of Chong Khneas Tourist Boats'.
    Considering that this association has been ripping off tourists (or overcharging) for years and years calling the other guys black reminds me of an old english proverb ...
  • On a lighter note down under New Zealand's answer to the economic woes is to ... create
    'a 3000km national cycleway
    Mr Key [NZ PM] said the cycleway was "a long-term thing that New Zealanders will look back on and be proud that they've got".
    Great idea. Or you could simply join the other's on the southern hemisphere, joining the other economy, getting on yer bike and outta of those clothes:
    '... the first ever Canberra edition of the World Naked Bike Ride came and went, without quite reaching critical mass, without altering the status quo or ending our reliance of petrochemicals'.
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