Crossing Cambodia

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Chasing cars, 3-9-09

Heavy rain has been coming down for the past 4-5 days rendering much of Phnom Penh's infrastructure unusable, at least during the rains themselves. Holes are re-appearing in the street and poor roads are now getting a wash out, take care. What is known as the only flood map of the city, discussed on Khmer 440 has seen added comments 2 years after the original. An update is apparently underway ....
  • Enforcing the law. The police claim now to have (temporarily) confiscated nearly 100,000 vehicles! Quite a feat. What's more surprising is that over 1% of this vehicles remain unclaimed, can't believe it myself.
  • Discussion on Khmer 440 also involves comments saying the traffic situation is changing slowly for the better. Crossing Cambodia is yet to see itself as do others, though 2 from members reporting a 'Hummer' giving way! Response:
    'Yeah I know the Hummer guy. Don't get your hopes too high quite yet. His maid's on vacation in the province and he doesn't want to wash off the blood and bones fragments by himself so he's taking it easy this week.
    She's back next sunday and he'll hit the road (and the rest of us) with a vengeance'.
    That's more like it ....
  • Anyway according to a report of the Traffic Police
    '299 tourists were involved in road accidents in Cambodia in the first half of 2009, compared with just 168 in the first half of 2008'.
    During that period there were less tourists, so have all of sudden the farang turned into bad drivers? The report has no answers. Why target transport companies for tourist?
    '"It is really very bad for our tourism sector when tourists die in road accidents here," said Sem Psnha Vuth, victim and road accident information controller. "Visitors who see road accidents will be shocked."
    What about the 'common people'? Not so bad?
  • The last CC post entry contained a reference to Phnom Penh Posts interview with a female moto-taxi driver. Apparently they are 'rare', they claim. Funny though that the Globe August edition are able to get an interview with another female moto-dup chauffeur. Copy-cats? Though it may be rare and seen as something special Morn Thida denies this.
    'What challenges do you face as a female motodop?
    To be honest there aren’t that many challenges as the job isn’t difficult.'
    She does note a specialty not often en-counted with moto-dops:
    'Most people, from my experience, would rather I ask than pretend to know where I am going'.
    However the Globe seems to be intend to make Thida feel strange as they insist on asking questions concerning the female element. Thida shrugs them all off. Out of desperation the next to last question is :
    'If you were to marry, do you think your husband would mind your choice of profession?
    I can’t imagine he would mind. If he can find another job for me that pays more, then great, I’ll try that',
    Thida answers. Welcome to the 21st century, Globe!
  • The Globe is also the source of an in-depth article on Cambodia's new airline, Cambodia Angkor Air. Mostly the article points out the promise. This week it also took delivery of an Airbus, so as to expand the number of flights which seems to contradict the dire econmic times. Whether it's the right move remains to be seen:
    'The airline - which launched July 27 - had seen a steady increase in passenger numbers, with an average passenger load of between 30 and 40 percent during the first month of operations, he said, without supplying official data, which he said was not yet available'.
    Considering the prices were $6 on the main internal stretch, the economic logic seems to be far away. A CAA spokesperson:
    ' "For the first few years, we do not expect any profits. We will just promote our carrier and attract customers" '.
    Deep pockets?
  • More past to present info. This time tracks. As expected rail dwellers are not to get much for moving off the rail. The PPP accompanies a brief and boring report with a photo of kids playing on the tracks.
  • Then the traffic on water. More cash is in the offering for a 'port' in Kep so as to enable tourists heading for The former Cambodian island of Phu Coc, again reported by the PPP. A conference center is what is on the cards ...
  • With less tourists, boat companies are clashing in Siem Reap over tourists, so reports the PPP. Background of the 'clashes':
    ' "The Cambodian Association of Travel Agents has no business organising boat tours. They have become involved in order to protect the interests of rich and powerful people," he said'.
    Ah, such is the Khmer republic ...
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