I was lucky no-one bought it then, because when I actually did
sell it in 2014 I got $5.50 per meter. Now nearby properties are
selling for upwards of $30 meter and are often being bought by
locals rather than expats or Chinese. That’s very high for ordi-
nary land and prices will certainly crash if another worldwide
economic crisis hits. If you paid cash and you are living there,
then your only problem will come if you want to or need to sell.
Land owners gain when property values shoot up, but almost
everyone else loses. Renters pay more, costs go up. Average peo-
ple who work in high cost areas have to commute long distances
or pay exorbitant rents to live close to work. Shopkeepers are
squeezed by rising rents forcing their prices higher.
But then booms are always followed by busts. Booms are bub-
bles and bubbles always burst at some point, it’s part of their
nature. On the other hand construction booms provide a lot of
jobs and spread a lot of money around. If a lot of big-timers lose
their shirts when it all goes belly up well that’s what speculation
It seems perverse to hope for a bust since a lot of wealth and jobs
are created by those large construction expenditures and a lot of
people will be hard hit when their jobs and income go. Outside
money is a boon to the economy and a lot of Cambodians need to
migrate from the countryside where there’s little money or oppor-
tunities and into the cities where the potential for success exists,
but still a bust would be welcome in some ways. For one thing, it
would stop in its tracks the building of high rises where no mar-
ket exists.
Who wants a lot of Gold Tower 42s around; that is, steel skele-
tons of buildings that may never be finished. The space oversup-
ply also exists in the office sector and malls. It took years for
Vattanak Tower one of the first to build high to rent a major-
ity of it’s space and a lot of malls are going through hard times,
and yet they are still coming. All this construction is happening
as if Cambodia was a middle class country, but a majority of
Phnom Penh’s people are still scraping the bottom of the barrel.
Boom and bust cycles are not inevitable. Two years ago it was
clear that a condo oversupply was on the horizon, at that point a
moratorium on new condo construction would’ve been in order.
Less people would’ve been employed but their jobs would’ve
lasted longer. There are now about 50,000 people working in the
construction sector. In event of a crash most will lose their jobs.
So the choice is 50,000 now diving to 10,000 in a crash or 25,000
steady (numbers are theoretical).
What would justify a 41 story building in a sleepy little town of
60,000 people? A hotel with hundreds of rooms? An office
building with the capacity to accommodate all the current of-
fices in Kampot several times? Depending on the building’s
footprint there could be hundreds of expensive condos. Space in
buildings that tall is necessarily pricey, it costs more to build
high. It’s all very mysterious, you see, since there’s been no
official announcement or architect’s drawings, only hearsay and
a sturdy perimeter construction fence. And that’s all before beg-
ging the question of who would want to live there.
There is another potential use which I discovered after I wrote
the above, but I’ll come to that later after recapping the condo
situation in Phnom Penh. There are about 9,000 condos in the
capital today, but by 2020, there’ll be about 38,000. I have to
say, after reading four different articles about condos in Phnom
Penh, I’m a bit confused when it comes to numbers. One thing
that’s clear is that, contrary to the bragging of some owners that
their units are selling briskly, most new ones are going very
sluggishly. Some months ago a new building with 220 units had
sold only ten by opening day, not a good start. Moreover, half of
the units already built are still available.
One factor of agreement is that most buyers are foreigners com-
ing from China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan and almost
all of those are being bought for speculation. It’s somewhat un-
derstandable why those nationalities (except Taiwan) in particu-
lar are eager buyers since a very high percentage of their people
are high rise dwellers. That only applies to China’s cities, of
course. The vast majority spend their lives in little cubicles high
up in the air so they’re used to the idea, think it’s quite normal.
But this is Cambodia with a small population and lots of land.
Khmers are not used that kind of living so the only likely buyers
are also from those countries.
There’s a disconnect between how easy it is to finance and build
those things here and the number of likely owners/renters who
might occupy them. One certain result of that disconnect is the
softening of rents in the city. With massive oversupply there’ll
be price competition for people to occupy those dwellings and
an accompanying reduction in land values. Land is only worth
hundreds or thousands of dollars per square meter if you can use
it in some way to justify the cost.
As a basic rule of thumb, if you purchase real estate for invest-
ment purposes you need to get a return of 1% a month to recoup
your cost. So for instance, if you pay $100,000 for a building
you need to get $1000 per month in rent and that still means it’ll
take 8 ½ years to get your money back. With maintenance, fig-
ure 10 years and that doesn’t include any profit. With property
sellers asking $200,000 and up for shophouses here in Kampot,
the only way that expense can be justified is if the value of the
property rises because nobody can get $2000 per month rent
here. Newly renovated shops right on the river are renting for
six or seven hundred a month. If you’re buying the property as a
domicile, then it doesn’t matter how much you are paying.
It’s practically a matter of religious faith on the part of a lot of
people that property values always go up. In the long run that
may be true since we live in a finite world where population is
growing, so competition for space will intensify. Nonetheless
there are lots of times when values go down. In the case of
Phnom Penh, the problem will be local oversupply. There’s also
the possibility of global financial problems. I bought land near
Kampot in 2008, just before the financial crash, for $4.60 square
meter. You wouldn’t think a crash in the US would impact land
values here, but two years later in 2010, I couldn’t sell my land
for $2 per meter.
a waste of resources. But as I’ve commented before, the authori-
ties in Cambodia seem to see their worth in how much they can
cover with asphalt.
Nice smooth streets are good. My old Tico makes a lot of jarring,
rattling noises on rough streets. Since Kampot is stated to be a
big tourist destination, lots of money is available to spruce things
up. It took three days to resurface the sea of asphalt surrounding
the durian circle, which had been done only a couple years ago. It
took big equipment and lots of asphalt. In a very rough guess, I’d
say it cost tens of thousands of dollars to do that work.
In contrast, think about other ways that money could be spent.
The only public playground in town, which is enjoyed exten-
sively every clement afternoon by lots of kids, cost $800. It was
built by volunteer expat labor, but labor doesn’t cost much here
so even if we triple the cost of doing something like that by the
government, you could still serve a big part of the city with sev-
eral playgrounds for the cost of one layer of asphalt on the durian
circle. Or how about a public swimming pool so the common
people can have a place to swim on a hot April day? Or how
about hanging a pedestrian walkway off one side of the old
bridge so pedestrians could feel safe and comfortable crossing it?
I don’t think it’d cost more than 10 or 20 grand to construct it.
People would use it just for fun.
Speaking of the durian, the area devoted to the pavement sur-
rounding it is far larger than necessary, even if you look decades
in the future. It wasn’t that long ago that the durian was con-
structed and the raised area around it expanded, but they could’ve
doubled its size and still left more than enough room for traffic.
There are several reasons why excess pavement is not the best
use of land. For one, it’s expensive, asphalt doesn’t come cheap,
and requires maintenance. It’s ugly: There’s nothing esthetically
pleasing about tarmac, whereas anything else you might do with
the space; planters, grass, trees, benches, is far preferable. A
smaller paved area would make it easier and safer for pedestrians
to get to the center. Excessive pavement worsens drainage prob-
lems. Replacing tarmac with planters would allow rain to be ab-
sorbed into the earth rather than need to be carried away in the
sewer system. All in all, a waste of money.
Since all lesser government officials, except for the commune
level, are appointed by the ruling party their major priority is to
please the people on top, rather than the citizens they govern. It
took 2 ½ years after the old bridge was closed by safety concerns
for it to be repaired and put back into use. The people’s wishes
were ignored until the PM came to town. He was asked by locals
Ah, but lets get back to Kampot. An internet search for info on
our planned 41 story building turned up nothing, but a friend
was able to get info on it (don’t know how he did it). According
to the developer, who I understand has not carried through on
many of his projects in the past, the first 5 stories will be a shop-
ping mall, including possibly a Lucky supermarket. The next
five, a data center, the remaining floors penthouse apartments. I
should mention that the lot is very large, it looks like at least a
hectare so it could accommodate a lot more than one 41 story
building. Dozens of shophouses could be built around it.
So a five story shopping mall for Kampot… sounds absurd to
me. Everything costs more in spiffed out malls than in old style
markets and small shops and I can’t imagine
where the trade will come from in funky
Kampot. (I should also mention that I’ve been
wrong before). Sure, people will come to hang
out in its air-con splendor, but spend a lot of
money? I can’t see it. The second part is even
stranger and more absurd: a data center in the
most expensive space in the city? Data centers
can be put anywhere there’s a sufficient sup-
ply of electricity. You get the cheapest land or
space to house it. After all, hardly anybody
works there or goes there so the last thing you
need is expensive space in the heart of town.
Finally, I think the guy is a little mixed up
about what the word penthouse means, but
regardless, those apartments won’t be cheap
and there’ll be hundreds.
There is one other possible use for that build-
ing. I heard from a friend who works high up
in a casino company that the developer is fig-
uring on putting a casino there. The thinking
being that once the tourist port is built and an
immigration post is located, they can claim
Kampot is on the Cambo border to comply
with the law on casinos. Anyway laws don’t mean much when
you have the money to influence the authorities; the casino up
on Bokor Mt. was given an exemption from the rules which
state that casinos can only be located on the country’s borders
with the exception of Naga in Phnom Penh. My friend also
mentioned that the newly installed governor is more amenable
to such uses than his predecessor, and maybe why he was re-
Now a casino would surely justify a tall building as gambling
operators make a lot of money. But it would be a sad day for
Kampot. Casinos bring money laundering, crime and general
sleaze, though I don’t want to taint everyone who gambles. If
the first one is successful, there’ll be a torrent like in Sihanouk-
ville and degrade the Kampot experience. That truly would be
the one thing to drive us away…. but to where?
Another commercial sector that’s new to Kampot is girly bars,
there are three now and more to come. They’re very tame com-
pared to the equivalent in the capital or Sihanoukville, but that
may change: regardless an unwelcome addition to the local
scene. I had been thinking that the government would not allow
that to happen here, but their appearance might be another out-
come of the installation of the new governor, I really don’t
know. On the other hand there are thinly disguised knocking
shops just a stone’s throw from the old market and it doesn’t
seem to be a big deal, you know, live and let live. There’s also
the many KTVs around town where a guy with a basic com-
mand of the local language can go. We’ll see where that goes: I
don’t think it’ll make a difference, though still not preferred.
Meanwhile the city went on a resurfacing rampage last month
laying asphalt on kilometers of streets as well as the giant area
around the Durian traffic circle. Personally, I didn’t see the need
for it as most of what was paved really didn’t need to be: it was
Site of the soon to be Kampot 40 storey tower
that, then I can’t wait for him to right all those wrongs. I’m hoping
we can welcome him down the pub shortly and, if he could glass
me and call a nonce, then I can die happy. Sorted.’
May boasts: ‘Trump told me to sh*g my own daughter
In a series of elaborate dares, President Trump has not only in-
sisted that the Prime Minister sues the EU, but that she also does a
striptease for whole twenty seconds and swallows a goldfish. Not
wanting to lose face, Mrs May has agreed eat dog food, do 100
push-ups and make an obscene phone call to Michel Barnier.
When she pointed out that she had no children, Trump became
despondent, claiming that if Mrs May wanted to join his ‘cool
gang’ she should smell the feet of everyone in the room. Mr.
Trump made it clear that she needed to drink a whole keg of beer
before she could wear one of the NATO-themed togas he had had
Desperate to appease her new boyfriend, the Prime Minister said
she would agree to smoke a cigarette and ‘go to third base’, but
only if it led to a preferential trade agreement. Mrs May further
agreed for Mr. Trump draw genitals on her face with permanent
marker although which of the Cabinet it resembled most, she
would not say.
Friends of Mrs May expressed concern that she would jump off a
cliff if he told her, but the electorate were told not to get their
hopes up. As her pièce de résistance Mrs May, on request, com-
pleted the ‘Condom Challenge’ whereby she forced a condom
into a nostril, snorting it back into her throat and back out her
mouth; which she boasted was ‘easier than Brexit’.
Marketing arseholes mulling over what body part they will
make women feel crap about in 2019
August is the traditional time of year when the creative minds in
advertising departments decide what perfectly normal physical
attribute of a woman’s body they will claim is a horrific blemish
needing expensive alteration.
Simon Williams, a marketing consultant who is not allowed to see
his own children, explained that finding new ways to create and
exploit the insecurities of stressed women was a constant chal-
“Our high point will always be the thigh gap. But I think I have a
strong contender this year. Visible collarbones! This year we are
going to generate an incessant media barrage to convince women
that a visible collarbone is the ugliest thing ever and that having
one makes them worthless as human beings.
“We have social media influencers ready to post Photoshopped
images of starlets tagged ‘life goals’. We have several beauty
vloggers preparing shows about their collarbone camouflage re-
gimes so as to create the impression that it’s a perfectly sane thing
to worry about.
community owned, the Green Bay Packers football club. Green
Bay, Wisconsin is a city of about 100,000 located on Lake
Michigan. The club was grandfathered in when the last revamp-
ing of the league happened. The owners would never allow an-
other non-commercial team. It’s a rotten system.
That is only to say there are other ways of doing things and to
emphasis that far more cities could have competitive teams, at
least on their own level. Promotion and relegation is set up with a
league having tiers. The two best teams move up a level, the two
worst move down. The US is so big, it could easily support tiered
leagues for each of several regions. With so many teams happen-
ing in so many cities, the sport might really catch on. It’s the rot-
ten greedy system that holds back the game.
As for Cambodia, while it’s clear that lots of people like to play,
there aren’t many adequate places to do it. The government
Elon Musk to rescue May from Brexit hole
Having been trapped for many weeks between a rock and a hard
Brexit, hope was starting to fade for Theresa May. However
entrepreneur, Elon Musk, has said he can pull her out of the
dark, piss-smelling cave that is Jacob Rees-Mogg’s mind.
Mrs May has been stuck in a hole of her own making for over a
year, alongside David Davis, a DUP IOU and a small Thai
boy. Nobody knows why the small boy was there, but it might
explain why David Davis has been so distracted of late.
Mr. Musk is confident he has the technology to navigate the u-
bend that Mrs May’s White Paper has been flushed down. The
submersible will first be sent 10 feet into Boris Johnson’s rec-
tum nobody is actually trapped there, but everyone agrees that
it would be a funny thing to do.
Rumours persist that Mrs May has had to eat her own excrement
to survive but only when it comes to the North Irish bor-
der. One of the rescuers said: ‘We expect her to exit unscathed
– which is more than can be said for the UK’.
Rees-Mogg ready to face world after total makeover
Conservative curiosity Jacob Rees-Mogg is reported to be ready
to face the word under his new identity of Jake ‘The Geezer’
Moggster, after spending a week at an exclusive boot camp in an
attempt to reinvent himself as a right tough-nut. The move
comes as a prelude to making an attempt at grabbing the party
leadership from beleaguered Theresa May and giving her a good
hard slap on the way out.
The bespectacled oddity is said to have dropped his ultra upper
class Wodehousian persona along with his double-barrelled sur-
name, and is instead now modelling himself more on Danny
Dyer than Gussie Fink-Nottle. A photograph is circulating on
Twitter showing the now heavily tattooed North-East Somerset
MP stripped to the waist and mugging to the camera with his
fists raised, challenging any Remainers to come and have a go if
they think they’re hard enough.
His constituency agent told reporters: ‘All will be revealed
shortly, but there is some truth in the current speculation. Jake
Mogg will be holding a press conference at Westminster and
will be also making an important announcement. Now fark orf
and write something proper cushty if you know what’s good for
you, you muppets.’
Meanwhile supporters of the Moggester are said to be delighted.
Darren Clapp, from Peckham whose parents, during the
Thatcher years, bought the dilapidated flat in the tower block
where he now lives said: ‘Great news. I think that Mr Rees-
Mogg really connects with me and my kind. Some say he’s a bit
stuck-up but I won’t have it. Empathy with the scum of the earth
like me is his real skill.’
‘He knows what the poor and disadvantaged have to endure and
now he’s going to be a well proper geezer in Parliament too and
seems to favor big projects, whereas what’s really needed is a
playing field in every neighborhood. In Kampot there’re only
two fields that I know of: one at the Durian circle and one 6 kilo-
meters west of town off the Sihanoukville highway. There might
be one at the town’s only high school, but if so it’s also incon-
venient; 5 ks out of town on Teuk Chhou road. There’s also a
commercial place that has small fields on astroturf.
The situation in Phnom Penh is far worse with only one field in
the inner city at Olympic stadium. I’ve heard they are building a
sports complex a ways out of town north of the city, but anyway
you look at it, recreation space is sorely lacking in the capital.
There’s no way for Cambodia to have a competitive team with-
out devoting more space for people to play. If you have to wade
through kilometers of heavy traffic just to get to a place to run
around, a lot of people will be discouraged.
By The Stool Pigeon HoChiMinh City, Vietnam
The morning was only two beers old when Alan decided to get
his fortune told.
He had met a middle-aged woman named Thao the day before.
She adamantly claimed to know a lot about Alan because she
could read strong messages from his aura.
“I want to read the cards. I think they hold an important mes-
sage for you. Your future is about to see a major change.”
Alan laughed. “No thanks, my dear. I don’t believe in any of
that hocus-pocus stuff.”
The soothsayer persisted.
“You have girlfriend in Vietnam. She has big problem in her
“I don’t think so, but if she does, that’s her problem and not
Alan laughed again and brushed aside the woman he would
eventually turn to for advice.. He then went to meet Ngoc, his
girlfriend, at the bar where she worked.
Ngoc’shift ended at midnight, so they often went together to a
late-night club named Apocalypse Now. On this particular Fri-
day, it was Ngoc’s 25
birthday and they went to Apocalypse
Now to celebrate. It was there that Ngoc issued the oft-repeated
mantra of young Southeast Asian women. “My mama very
sick. I must go take medicine to her.”
In most such circumstances Alan would merely have laughed.
But in Ngoc’s case he felt differently. He had known her for
almost three months and she had never asked him for anything.
She had established a degree of faith and trust
with Alan, so he figured that despite the one
in a thousand odds against, perhaps this situa-
tion was genuine.
“My mother lives in Danang. I must go there
for four or five days. Can I borrow money
from you?”
“How much do you need?”
“Up to you. I think medicine and doctor very
expensive. Maybe you can give me two or
three million dong ($120-180 US).”
Alan gulped and puckered his lips, as if he
were lost for words. He wasn’t carrying that
much money, and besides, he wanted to give
the idea some thought.
When he had first met Ngoc, they were in
Nha Trang. He was sure that at that time she
had said she was from there not Danang.
Alan decided to put granting Ngoc’s multi-million dong birth-
day wish on hold. He told Ngoc he would meet her early the
following afternoon to discuss things and - if he could help her
would bring two or three million dong.
Ngoc usually spent the night with Alan, but mysteriously had
to leave early each morning, despite not having to be at her job
until 4 p.m. Alan intended to use the interim time to quaff a
few decision beers.
I met Alan for the first time at a non-descript bar in Pham Ngu
Lao ward of District 1. He was beside himself with bewilder-
ment and as I was the handiest pair of ears in the proximity, he
insisted on using me as a sounding board for his dilemma.
“Where are ya from mate? Nice to meet ya. You’re not going
to believe this, but the weirdest thing happened to me today.”
I finished my coffee and ordered a Halida beer. This had all of
the makings of a verbal diarrhoea-filled tale.
I didn’t have to coax the guy to continue.
“This woman read my cards and told my fortune this morning. I
couldn’t believe what she knew. Let me get one thing clear I
don’t believe in any of this fortune telling nonsense one bit. But
she told me things about my past that no one else could possibly
Alan went on to cite examples of this woman’s clairvoyant prow-
ess. She miraculously knew that his wife had died three years be-
fore. He and his wife had been visiting relatives in Perth when she
suffered a heart attack and perished.
“How could she possibly know that mate?”
She also knew that he had recently met a young woman in a
‘seaside town north of here.’ She accurately told him the first ini-
tial of her name.
The next amazing exhibit of fortune telling was suggesting that
‘N’ had a family member who was seriously ill. According to the
soothsayer, ‘N’ would soon ask Alan for some money, if she had-
n’t already. She stressed the fact that ‘Nwould be reluctant to do
this because she was afraid Alan wouldn’t believe her.
Still imposing his bewildering tale upon me, Alan told me he
asked what other information the soothsayer could give about
Ngoc. He had decided to provide the clairvoyant with the full
name in hope of increasing the chance of accurate imagery. (Not
bad for a guy who says he doesn’t believe in this nonsense).
He was advised to give Ngoc whatever money he could, for Ngoc
was a good girl and it would likely jeopardize his relationship
with her if he failed to help her in this time of dire need. She also
strongly insinuated Alan should return for a fur-
ther card reading after he had given Ngoc the
Alan paid the woman 50,000 dong ($4 US) and
went to an out-of-the-way bar to drink away the
hours before he was to meet Ngoc. This, of
course, is where your narrator became a reluc-
tant listener.
At first, I admit I was somewhat impressed by
the apparent sixth-sense capabilities of the mys-
terious woman. I asked Alan if he had told any-
one in HoChiMinh City about his wife’s death.
“No”, he replied, “I only mentioned it to Ngoc.”
“Aye, there’s the fly in the ointment”, I offered.
The words, ‘What do you mean by that?’ had
barely slipped across his lips, when he looked
outside the open-ended room and witnessed
Ngoc and the soothsayer walking along the
street together.
“Holy shit mate. I’ll be right back.”
Alan left his barstool and beer and darted across the street. When
he caught up to the women, onlookers were treated to a melodra-
matic performance.. Plenty of verbal blows were dished out from
all parties but nothing physical.
Alan never returned to the bar that afternoon, neither to pay for
nor to finish his beer.
I asked the barmaid, Cho, if she knew Alan.
She indicated that she had never seen him before.
“And what about those two ladies?”
Cho said she had never seen the older one before, but the young
one lived close by with her husband.
As for the soothsayer, she inadvertently saved Alan a lot of money
and grief in the long run. For had she been as incredibly clairvoy-
ant as Alan had first thought, she would have known he was in the
bar and never have walked by in the first place.
ning for other top
world awards.
Worlds largest num-
ber of garbage piles
seems easily achiev-
able given the state of
the place.
Another will be the
largest number of
construction sites per
head of local popula-
tion along with the
Following the award
of worlds best
beaches. Which was a
little unbelievable.
Sihanoukville is gun-
Volume 05 Issue 09 Wednesday, August 1, 20018 0000 Riel
To Stop Moral
Decline Govt.
Bans Women
To address falling moral
standards, changing social
mores, and nagging from
their wives, the government
has, in an immaculately
conceived plan, banned
women. "We're simply not
ready as a society," re-
peated a spokesperson.
"From today, all public
displays of women will be
banned," frothed a spokes-
woman. "Apart from us,
stone Apsaras who bring in
money and they can't sleep
with, and smiling poor,
disabled ones who bring in
money and they don't want
to sleep with," she contin-
A contract to build a toll
booth on all Cambodian
vaginas will be put out to
tender before being given to
Sokimex. It is unclear how
they will excuse the har-
vesting of swathes of forest
on this occasion.
Critics have argued that
it would be easier and more
effective to ban sleazy, cor-
rupt politicians, but the en-
suing power vacuum
Continued on page 17
largest number of
Casino licences.
Judging by recent
numbers caught by
the polices the largest
number of Chinese
drivers without li-
cences is a sure fire
Now the Chinese have
fully taken over the
town the shitty side of
their dodgy casino
dealings is floating to
the surface.
Future categories
could possibly be
largest number of
gunfights (wonder
where the guns come
from). Along with the
kidnapping mecca of
SEA will sure fire up
some Cont page 17
About Cambodia
About Cambodia
Doctor who freed pedophile
for being sick in the head
missing the point Page 17
Funcinpec study Clinton for
future electoral, judicial
challenges Page 17
UN forces to welcome Cam-
bodian troops as beauty
pageants banned, draft
introduced Page 17
Adultery law – final blow for
errant husbands Page 17
October boost for Australian
casinos, brothels Page 17
tain de Lemedia announced fur-
ther triumphs for the
'ALFASLEEP church as he led
true believers, donors and other
half-wits in worship of himself.
"Brothers, Sisters, step into the
limelight and see something re-
sembling the truth, for only in
your column inches are you truly
free." The sermon capped a
truly spectacular year for
'ALFASLEEP, who have res-
cued more headlines than ever
Locals were quick to praise
St. Putain. "Encouraging sanc-
tions was a master stroke,"
gushed Srey Koyt, a former gar-
ment factory worker from Russei
Keo district. "700 col-
leagues and I have been lib-
erated from ILO approved
factories!" she cried with
perhaps joy, before returning
to fellating local policemen.
The minority of inden-
tured, underage sex workers
are indefinitely unavailable
for comment
Continued on page 17
This is a work of fiction and satire any semblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental
More Awards
for Sihanouk-
'ALFASLEEP Claims Successes, More Headlines
cause from the start."
"All in all I'm quite happy with how
the President speaks, " said his den-
tist. "It was far more difficult with
George W., who seemed to refer to
tourists whenever he meant terrorists.
He lent the tourist trade a whole new
facet during his tenure."
Trump's diction, then, appears not to
be the problem, while the content
remains a challenge to the world at
Boris Johnson makes his resigna-
tion speech
After quitting the cabinet last week
over the state of Brexit, Boris John-
son made his resignation speech to parliament today. Here is a
transcript of what he said:
"Hello, grubbledy mugwumps. I am fed up with our higgledy-
arsed approach to Brexit, and to explain it most simplily, I would
like to tell you a story. It is a story about us mugwumps.
"We all live in a big mugwump nest in the ground. But some of
us don't like that, we would like to build a mugwump nest in the
"Some might say it is cake-having-and-eatingly impossible, that
you can't have a mugwump nest just floating in the sky. But I say,
all we need to do is to believe in it. If only the Chief mugwump
would at least let us try, then we would see.
"Instead she has decided that we will build a mugwump nest half-
above ground, for which we are having to negotiate with the bee-
tles and slugs about how we can do it.
"It's not what I wanted. I don't like it and I will hit something
soon if I don't get what I want. I would be happy to take over as
Chief mugwump if that helps.
"For too long, us mugwumps have been stuck in the ground eat-
ing earthworms. If we could live in a mugwump nest in the sky
then we could catch passing trout and beef products.
"It makes sense, as I'm sure you can hear. But people aren't listen
to me so I resigned. I will be in my portapotty if you need me."
Trump Not Sure About Whether He's Sure About Russia Or
In a frank and honest statement earlier today, President Trump
has admitted that he isn't sure about whether or not he's sure
about Russia's involvement, or non-involvement, in the Med-
dlinggate crisis.
Trump's dentures modified to avoid misspeaks
As the perils of enunciation smacked in the face of President
Trump at his press conference with President Putin in Russia,
misspeak has now enhanced fake news as Donald's pet pieces of
nomenclature for the imparting of data and official information.
"Be fair," explained Trump, "how do I know what I think 'til I've
heard what I said." Quite....
Having misread his text, leaving out a pretty significant 'not' at a
pretty significant moment, government staff are now wading
though thousands of texts and comments to see if other mis-
speaks have prevailed in the President's utterances and output.
"Donald's command of the English language is poor, " admitted a
close confidant from the White House. "We practice a wide range
of commonplace sayings as well as hackneyed phrases so he can
mumble something. We also train him to raise his right hand and
form the figure 'O' with his fingers. Otherwise he falls over. But
we often have to rely on him reading out a text as it stands. For-
tunately, his self-confidence is so sky-high as to ensure it sounds
reasonable - you must admit, he has a wonderful voice tone!
While his ideas may be repulsive and unfathomable, they sound
rather pleasant, don't you think?"
Trump is now having new dentures fitted which quiver if he ut-
ters a sentence without the word 'not', making sure he can correct
any omission.
"That should do the trick", said his dental consultant. Being 72,
doctors are reluctant to meddle with other parts of the President
which desperately need attention.
"Inserting a functioning brain would, at this stage, be too risky",
confirmed a surgeon, "and as for a heart, well, that's been a lost
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f..f..f..f..Brexit we desire," he hissed. "Or else..."
So far, Boris Johnson and David Davis are the highest profile
Brexiters who have been ordered to quit by creepy medieval dun-
geon-keeper Mogg. Each of them offered a toe to Mogg so that
he could continue his psychotic plot.
The PM appears not to have been persuaded. Although she now
has enough Conservative body parts to build half a Warwick
Davies, it is thought that she is baking them into a pie to serve to
Mogg the next time he visits 10 Downing Street.
Mr Trump, looney, was speaking at a White House press confer-
ence, and answered the first question with the resolve of a man
who hasn't any, and an assertiveness that only people with no
assertions on it would understand.
Assertivistically, Trump said:
"You can take it from me, that I'm just not quite sure!"
After last week's visit to Helsinki to meet Mr Putin, Mr Trump
even admitted that he wasn't actually sure that he had been taken
to Helsinki - it having looked like so many other places - and
even claimed that he wasn't really convinced that the man in front
of him had been Mr Putin.
"It could've been him, and then again it couldn't've. I always
thought he was a bit taller. I'm not really sure on either of those
aspectoes," he said.
There was one thing Mr Trump was sure about, however. He
winked cunningly at journalists as he said:
"If there's one thing I am damned sure about, it's the fact that I'm
not really sure about any of what went on last week, what's going
on this week, or will what go on in any week in the future. About
that, I'm sure, so help me God!"
Red Hen Restaurants are Riding a Wave of Popularity
Restaurants called "Red Hen," were at first riding a wave of hate
from conservatives protesting the owner of a Red Hen restaurant
ordering Trump Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to leave. And not
because he was afraid there wasn't enough food in the restaurant
to feed her.
Sanders was asked to leave because of her working for Trump.
The restaurant owner knew it would be hard for customers to
digest their food while Sarah was there, worrying that Trump
might be coming in too.
After liberals found out conservatives were attacking the place,
the liberals started coming to the Red Hen for breakfast, lunch,
and dinner. The conservatives were unable to attack the restau-
rant any further due to the long lines that now gathered at the
restaurant every day. The Huckabee Huckelberrys are a favorite
of the clientele.
Bear Grylls and Warwick Davies Lake District Programme
Too Funny
Warwick Davies has confessed that he absolutely loves the Lake
District and was delighted to have the chance to enjoy it with
adventurer Bear Grylls.
Bear Grylls, however, took a different view. "Not that bl**dy
dwarf", he is rumoured to have said. "If he so much as looks like
he's going to fall off a cliff I'll wet myself laughing."
Despite his misgivings, Bear agreed to do the BBC adventure
programme with Warwick.
This involved Bear laughing hysterically as Warwick swung dan-
gling on a rope kicking his legs whilst trying to scale a peak.
Later, Bear was seen crying with laughter as Warwick was forced
to physically wrestle a stoat off his packed lunch. Eventually the
producer was forced to cut filming after Warwick slipped down a
badger set and could be heard faintly screaming "he's biting my
arse!" below ground as Bear lay above ground convulsed with
"I wouldn't have missed it for the world", Bear said later.
"I'm proud to represent little people in doing adult activities."
said Warwick, with a heavily bandaged backside.
Brexiters' new tactics of mutilation and extortion
In the current apocalyptic and grisly political landscape of the
UK, Jacob Rees-Mogg has proven himself as deranged as any
serial killer. Every day for the last week he has ordered one of his
Brexiter minions to sacrifice himself/herself by resigning. He has
then posted a part of their body to Prime Minister Theresa May.
Mogg has said he will continue with the daily ritual until the gov-
ernment changes course on Brexit. "We must have the
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“We accept anybody’s ravings—we often print them!”
you’d start over with a new command. Google has quietly added
support for multiple actions in a single command, but it won’t
work on everything.
You can give this a shot right now by stringing two commands
together. For example, “Turn off the lights and give tomorrow’s
forecast.” Assistant will do both without a second command.
Unfortunately, you can’t use routines or shortcuts with multiple
commands. In addition, this feature is only live on the Google
Home version of Assistant. It won’t work on your phone.
Location-based reminders
Google was famously slow to add reminder support to Google
Home, but it’s been there for a while. More
recently, Google expanded reminder func-
tionality to understand location. Your
Google Home doesn’t move, of course, but
your phone does.
When you add a reminder via Assistant on
Home or your phone, consider adding a loca-
tion. For example, “Remind me to buy milk
when I go to [a grocery store].” The reminder won’t appear on
Google Home because it doesn’t go anyplace with you, but your
phone will ping you when it detects you’re in the right place.
Identify songs
Wondering what that vaguely familiar song playing in the back-
ground is? Google Assistant is probably the fastest way to find
out. On your phone, long-press the home button to launch Assis-
tant, and you might have a contextual button that says “What’s
this song?” That only appears when Assistant hears music in the
background. If it doesn’t show up, you can say/type that phrase
to launch the recognition.
Assistant listens for a few seconds, and then returns a
match.You’ll get the song, artist, album, lyrics, and links to listen
to it online.
Sync connected smart home devices
Google Assistant supports numerous smart home devices, but
you might notice that devices you’ve just added to your account
don’t always work right away. That’s because Assistant isn’t
constantly scanning for new connections. You can give it a kick-
After adding a new smart home device like a camera or thermo-
stat, open up Assistant and say, “Sync my devices.” Assistant
tells you it’s syncing with your connected accounts, and a few
seconds later any newly added devices will appear in your list.
Make sure to add them to rooms in Assistant for full functional-
Send daily info
Assistant is great for calling up little tidbits like the weather,
stock quotes, or even jokes. You don’t even have to ask every
time, though. You can have Assistant proactively send you cer-
tain bits of information as a daily update.
To configure a daily update, start by asking your question nor-
mallyask it for the weather, a dad joke, whatever. After Assis-
tant pulls up the content, you can follow up with “Send this to me
daily.” Assistant asks what time you want the update, and you’re
all set. To change or cancel a daily update, just say, “See my sub-
Have Assistant remember things for you
Your squishy human brain is fallible, but Google Assistant can
remember things without fail. All you have to do is ask it. You
can tell Assistant to remember things just by saying “Remember
Google Assistant:
Awesome features you need to start using
Google's A.I. assistant learned some new tricks while you weren't
Google has had voice search features in Android for years, but
when Google Assistant rolled out on the Pixel in October 2016,
everything finally came together. You can now get Assistant on
all modern Android devices, and Google has already announced
new Assistant features at I/O 2018 that will make it even better
(okay, and maybe a little too real, in the case of Duplex).
It can be easy to miss the improvements if
you don’t obsessively keep an eye on the
news, so here they are in one place: the cool-
est new features in Google Assistant.
Change the Assistant voice
There’s nothing wrong with the default As-
sistant voice, but perhaps you’re getting a
little sick of it. Google added a handful of
alternatives last year and recently expanded to a total of eight
different voice options. It only takes a moment to change the
voice, but the menu is somewhat buried.
Start by opening the settings menu via Assistant or the Google
Home app. Go to Preferences > Assistant voice, and you’ll be
able to choose between the eight options. Tap on any of them,
and they will begin reading off a sample. Once you’ve chosen, go
back and all your Assistant devices will use the new voice.
Using Assistant to do the same few things all the time can be
tedious, but Routines might be able to help. This feature allows
you to connect multiple actions to a single command. There are
only a few pre-determined routine commands right now, but they
could still save you a lot of time.
To get started, open the Assistant settings and scroll down to
Routines. In this menu, Google provides six pre-loaded com-
mands: good morning, bedtime, I’m leaving (leaving home), I’m
home, let’s go to work, and let’s go home. Say any of those, and
you’ll trigger the associated Routine. Each one includes a few
customization options including smart home devices, travel info,
and audio playback. You can also modify the trigger phrase at the
top of the Routine settings page.
Custom routines
If Google’s pre-loaded routines aren’t doing what you want, you
can also create a completely custom routine from scratch. Go to
Routines under the Assistant settings, but don’t tap on the
“Ready-made” options. Instead, hit the plus button down at the
bottom to make a custom routine.
You’ll need to enter at least one trigger phrase to start. Then, add
actions either by typing in commands or using the Popular ac-
tions” list. Being able to input text means you can have your rou-
tine do anything you could do manually in Assistant. Remember
to add a custom response to your routine so you know it triggered
correctly, too. You can also have Assistant play media like pod-
casts, music, and sleep sounds at the end of a routine.
When you’re all done, you can change the order of actions, which
is handy if you’ve crammed a lot in there.
Trigger multiple actions
Assistant launched with a single-tasking approach. You told it
one thing to do, and it would either do that thing or tell you it
didn’t know how to help. If you had more requests for Assistant,
with only voice input. That’s fine when you’re in a situation
where you can talk to your phone, but voice dictation isn’t al-
ways appropriate. Well, you can type your questions and com-
mands, too.
To access the keyboard in Assistant, just long-press your home
button as you normally would. But instead of speaking right
away, tap the keyboard icon in the lower-left corner. Assistant
will expand to fill the screen, and you can begin typing. Assistant
will respond to all the same commands that you’d use in a voice-
dictation situation, and you’ll also find contextual suggestions
above the keyboard. And because these suggestions are part of
Assistant, they appear no matter which keyboard app you’re us-
Editable history
Google Assistant used to be a transient experiencewhatever
you said to Assistant would be lost to the ether as soon as you left
the Assistant UI. But now there’s a full history of your com-
mands, and you can edit them too.
To access your Assistant history, you need only drag up on the
overlay when Assistant pops up. This will drop you into a full-
screen interface that shows your recent queries. Scroll up to see
everything you’ve asked and how Assistant answered.
Editing is a snap, too. Long-press on a query, and it will be high-
lighted along with Assistant’s reply. From there, you can either
delete or edit it. Deleting will completely remove the query (and
associated activity) from the history. This is just like removing
something from your Google search history, so it won’t be used
to inform future search and Assistant predictions.
If you choose to edit a query, the text is dropped into the text
field along with an open keyboard. You can tap send to immedi-
ately repeat the command, or make some changes and send it
again. Just note that none of this undoes the actions performed
when the command was first issued.
There are dozens of services and apps integrated with Assistant
already, but some of them get preferential treatment. For exam-
ple, you can tell Google to control your Hue lights directly, but
lights connected through Homey require you to preface all com-
mands with “Tell Homey.” It can get a bit tedious, but shortcuts
are here to help.
To create a shortcut, go to the Assistant settings and open the
settings. Scroll down and tap on the Shortcuts option. The short-
cut screen has a box for what you want to say, and one below that
for what you want Assistant to actually do in response.
In the top box, input whatever snappy shortcut phrase you want.
It tends to work better if you use the microphone button to speak
the shortcut. Assistant will sometimes put a sample command in
the bottom box, but you can change that to the command you
want. It has to be the full phrase you’d say to Assistant, including
the “Tell [X]” part if needed. Once your shortcut is saved, it’ll
work by voice and text.
Google Express shopping list
Google Assistant has always been able to add items to a shopping
list, but that list used to live solely in Google Keep. As such, it
was just a list. But Google recently changed the shopping list
functionality to plug directly into its Google Express delivery
service, which could be very useful if you’re a subscriber.
All you have to do is say, “Add [item name] to my shopping
list.” It will show up in your Google Express shopping list in-
stantly. You can access that list in the Google Express app, or
simply say “Show me my shopping list.” That takes you to the
online version of your list, which can be shared with any of your
contacts. If you’re a Google Express subscriber, you can tap
“Shop your list” to get filtered search results from supported lo-
cal retailers. Add items to your cart, and you’re done.
that [some piece of information].” You could tell Google to re-
member where you parked, what you did with the spare house
key, your high score in Tetris, or anything else. As a handy bo-
nus, Assistant also saves maps when you tell it where you
Later, you can ask Google to recall the information in various
ways. You can be direct, like asking Assistant “Where did I
park?” You can recall factoids you’ve saved with “What did I say
about [x]?” or “Remind me about [x].”
Search your Google Photos uploads
Google Photos is a fantastic backup solution for all your snap-
shots. Google offers unlimited storage of images and videos, pro-
vided you’re okay with a little compression, and Pixel owners get
free full-quality backups. If you want to look for specific photos
you’ve taken, you can do it right from Google Assistant. All you
have to do is ask.
Assistant plugs into the amazing search capabilities of Google
Photos, so you can ask to see almost anything. You can ask As-
sistant to pull up pictures of specific people, locations, and even
objects. Tap the image results to scroll through them immedi-
ately, or open Google Photos via the shortcut under your pics.
Just make sure you preface your request with something like “my
photos” to ensure you get images from your Google Photos li-
brary rather than images from a Google search.
Take and share screenshots
You can capture screenshots on Android phones by holding the
power and volume buttons, but Assistant can do it, too. In fact, it
might be faster if you intend to share the screenshot right away.
Open Assistant and say, “take a screenshot” or “share a screen-
It takes a moment to capture the screenshot, but you’ll get a pre-
view as soon as it’s done. Assistant then immediately brings up
the sharing interface so you can send the screen to a message or
upload it someplace. The screenshots taken via Assistant aren’t
saved locally, so you won’t end up with clutter from repeated
screenshot captures.
Listen to podcasts
Google has built a basic podcast interface into the Google app,
and the easiest way to access it is via Assistant. You might want
to listen to podcasts in this fashion because Google’s solution is
quick and easy. Just say, “listen to [podcast name]” to fire up the
latest episode. If you were in the middle of an episode, Assistant
picks up where you left off.
Your progress is not device-specific, either. You can start listen-
ing to a podcast on your phone, then tell Assistant on Google
Home you want to listen to the same podcast. Rather than start,
over, it starts where you last listened on your phone.
Explore menu
Google used to hide all of Assistant’s features in a series of eso-
teric, buried menus. Now, there’s a much more sensible way to
find out what sort of cool things you can do with Assistant in the
Explore menu.
To access this menu, open Assistant and tap the blue drawer icon
in the upper right corner. Here, you can find all the services sup-
ported by Assistant broken down into categories like Social &
Communication, Education & Reference, Games & Fun, and
more. Each tile links to a full info page where you can see sample
commands and (if necessary) link your account. Bottom line:
Checking out the Explore menu is the easiest way to keep track
of newly added apps and services.
There are also some general Assistant command suggestion at the
top. You don’t even have to speak the suggestions, just tap the
bubble and they’ll be dropped right into Assistant.
Typing to Assistant
Google Assistant first appeared in the Allo app, and in that itera-
tion, you could input text to “chat” with the Google’s bot. But the
more powerful baked-in phone version of Assistant began its life
ell it has been another less than boring time
down in the former Cambodian tropical para-
dise of Sihanoukville, and in the former sleepy
town of Kampot.
The Sihanoukvillle square closed on schedule on 7 July. Most
bars had their last trading nights well in advance, taking time to
dismantle their structures. For the last month there was hardly
any electricity and nothing was done with the toilets and it was
a squalid mess, with people relieving themselves wherever they
could. Meanwhile in the last week or two the new owners had
crews in drilling test holes for foundations. Within a few days
of closure, almost everything had been pulled down. There is
now a very nice large building site, backing one on beach road
for some huge multiplex to be constructed.
Speaking of construction, someone took a stock of all the con-
struction going on along the 3 roads parallel to Ochheateal
beach, Beach Road, 23 Tola Street and Polaway Street. There
are apparently 22 buildings under constructi0on and 20 other
sites where the former structure has been pulled down, await-
ing the commencement of construction. This is only this beach
area and does not include the massive number of new buildings
under construction in town, where the old building is pulled
down and within a month or two the new building is already a
couple of levels constructed.
Plenty of construction work is going on at Otres as well. The
supposed retirement village already had nearly a dozen topped
out buildings and dozens more under construction. When this
rumoured 200 hectare site is completed, it will possibly be the
second largest city in the country. Just in front of this, on the
land between the beach and rear road between Otres 1 and 2,
the piling machines are working at putting footing in for what
is likely to be some large buildings. This is the land that is ru-
moured to be owned by Jack Ma.
It has been a very rainy last month or two and it is obvious that
there has been no thought given to infrastructure, especially
stormwater. When it rains the roads become rivers and the low
lying sides become lakes, in some places over half a metre
deep for quite some time. Worse places are past the old LV
nightclub, in front of Kampong Som City Casino and in front
of Yadouli Casino.
All this stormwater is mixing with the effluent overflow from
the septic tanks and sure enough there is a reported small out-
break of Typhoid starting. One expat reported that one doctor
said they are treating over 100 cases. Here is a word from the
wise, if you are one of the 45 western expats left in town, get
either a booster jab or take an oral course of Typhoid vaccine.
There was a rumour going around that the Big Easy had been
bought out and was about to close. This was news to the main
shareholder when it was mentioned to him, so while that is not
the case yet, what is the bet it may well happen. Rumour is that
many of the businesses from Angus Steakhouse on up, have
been given notice. The Reef Resort is already pulled down, so
too is most of old Utopia and most of GBT and the old Ernies/
Stevie C building and the shops down from that (original
Ernies burgers) and across the road. Moi Bee Buy supermarket
on Serendipity Beach Road has closed and Khmer Wholesale
will be operating out of the Otres facility and are opening in
Kampot as well.
With the square closing, many of the few expats in town are
wondering where there is to drink and hang out. There is above
us only sky, but Gary has moved on from there and the owner
is away a lot and the place is lacking life. But fear not a new
“square "has opened, called Youth Town. It appears that the
inappropriately named Youth Town is now the place to go to
get girls as many from the square have migrated here and some
of the square bar owners have opened up as well. Other old
names that have reopened here are Enzo and Martini bar from
the beach, in a two level cramped space and Graham, from
Stumble Inn at Pub street is about to open. Youth Town is lo-
cated up from Build Bright University on the corner of street
Good luck getting there through the flooded and severely pot
holed streets as this is becoming a major narrow thoroughfare.
Many a moto has ended up on its side as the rider did not know
there was a very deep and steep sided pot hole lurking under
the water.
The roads are just getting worse and worse due to the rain and
trucks. Not only those roads around town, but also the high-
ways into Sihanoukville and Kampot are a pot holed mess. In
fact the rain was so bad late last month that route 4 was closed
to traffic due to flooding north of Pich Nil. This sent hordes of
trucks along route 3 and route 41 and these two roads only took
a couple of days to become pot holed messes. The worse bit is
the road just over the new Kampot bridge on the Sihanoukville
side. No visitor would ever think that it was a nice tarmaced
road, just two months ago.
Yes Kampot has seen its fair share of rain, so much so that the
dam has filled up a couple of times and the Competent Au-
thorities have had to release masses of water with has caused
some flooding problems for residents. They are so competent
at this that they do not leave the gates open during heavy
downpours or release in little batches, just wait until bursting
point and release so much water at once that they cause flood-
ing. One would hate to think what would happen if they were
Incompetent Authorities.
In Kampot all the rain seems to have effected some of the ex-
pats in a way that it used to in the days of old in Sihanoukville.
The founder of the Kampot Survival Guide announced its clo-
sure. A group took it over with the blessing of the founder.
However when the new group showed the old owner the mock-
up of the new professional cover things went haywire. There
were claims and counter claims on social media. Files were
deleted by one party and then that party was locked out of ad-
ministrative rights to social media pages they had founded.
Honestly one never knew there was such a lack of laundry fa-
cilities in Kampot that so much dirty laundry had to be done in
public. Still it provided a talking point apart from the normal
topics of the rain and flooding and influx of the social lepers
that are the poor refugees from the Chinese invasion of Siha-
The way many of the old timer Kampotians are talking about
the ex-Snoookyvillers one would think there is a class struc-
ture. At least the new immigrants to Kampot are not going
around shooting each other in the legs like happened recently
in Sinoukville. In what was likely a warning message 4 of the
new Sino overlords were shot in the legs by an unknown and
uncaught assailant. The rumour is that it was a friendly re-
minder to settle some debts.