Sunday, September 27, 2015

Wat Po Veal

I've always had a soft spot for Battambang. For many reasons. One is its museums. Including the long-forgotten one at Wat Po Veal. 
The PPPost now opens the doors of this cobwebbed-storage facility for ancient relics @…/inside-secret-museum
And you can read about my visit there in 2006 @


Saturday, September 26, 2015

All It Takes

Here it is....the music video of Savy's latest single, All It Takes.
A beautiful song.

Breaking News!
Khmer-American pop singer Savy's latest single and music video - 'All It Takes' - can be seen on CTN, MyTV and Sabay every day, ahead of its release in the USA and everywhere else including iTunes, on 25 September. This is a real exclusive for Cambodia with the song set to be released as a ringback tone very soon. Savy will also be in the studio soon to record a version in Khmer. Her previous singles, About A Boy and Zero G will be released in a few weeks too. So keep your eyes and ears open for Savy's 'All It Takes'...


Friday, September 25, 2015

Mount Everest

Hats off to my favourite Indian curry restaurant, Mount Everest on street 294. I've been a regular customer for the past eight years, enjoying their outstanding curries and friendly service, and when i walked in with my arm in plaster a couple of days ago, they refused to take any cash for my regular takeaway and sent me on my way. They repeated the same thing tonight and said they just wanted to help. At this rate i could be eating curry every day for the next five weeks smile emoticon Seriously, they get the award for friendliest curry restaurant of the week/month/year in my book. Mount Everest - best curries in Phnom Penh.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Oscar nomination

The Last Reel is Cambodia's Oscar Nomination for 2016. 
The Last Reel has been officially chosen by the Cambodia Oscar Selection Committee (COSC) to represent Cambodia for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' Award of the 88th Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles in 2016. “I am so grateful to the Cambodia Oscar Selection Committee for choosing The Last Reel to represent Cambodia for the Foreign Language Film Award at the 2016 Oscars,” said The Last Reel Director Sotho Kulikar. “This film was made by Cambodians with a Cambodian audience in mind, but the themes are universal and it has been embraced around the world, as well as here at home,” she continued. “I am extremely proud to represent Cambodia, the Cambodian people and the Cambodian film industry at the 88th Oscars,” she added, “I love my country and an award for The Last Reel is an award for Cambodia.”
Now that The Last Reel has been submitted to The Academy for consideration in the Foreign Language Film Award category of the Oscars, everyone must wait to see if it will be chosen as a final nominee for an Oscar. First, all the films in this category are reviewed and nine films are shortlisted. Of these, the final 5 official nominees are chosen, which will be voted on by Academy members for the Oscar-winning film.
The Last Reel is out now in all leading Cambodian cinemas, including Major Cineplex by Cellcard at Aeon Mall; Legend Cinemas at TK Avenue, City Mall and Stung Meanchey; and Platinum Cineplex Sorya and Platinum Cineplex in Siem Reap.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Bad news

okay, the bad news first. A dog decided to freeze in the middle of the road, sending me over the handlebars of my moto. Resulting in a double fracture of my left elbow. Dr Vuthy, definitely recommended, put it in plaster for up to six weeks at 7am today. He's head of pediatric surgery so i'm in good hands. Unfortunately its the same elbow i seriously fractured 42 years ago, which is why you can see a pin on the x-ray. Yes it's still there all these years later, in those days they left them in! This time the fractures are small by comparison, but will need time to heal, hence the plaster cast. Massive appreciation to Rumnea for her care and attention. Now, the good news - there isn't any!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Finding myself in Finding Zero

Big thanks to author Amir Aczel for including my small part in his search to uncover the origins of numbers, in his recently released book, Finding Zero (publishers: palgrave macmillan: 242 pages). He even added a photo. Amir has written a riveting account of his search for the origin of numerals but it's the search for the earliest recorded zero that brought him to Cambodia and our meeting, which he records in detail. As for the earliest zero - it was on a stone inscription from an Angkorian temple that Amir finally tracked down to the Angkor Conservation office in Siem Reap. You might say he's the Indiana Jones of mathematics. You can get a copy of Finding Zero at Monument Books, of course.

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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Locating Trapeang Sva

Inside the stupa at Trapeang Sva
One of the scenes in The Last Reel, currently being shown in cinemas in Cambodia, was set at a genocide memorial in the ricefields of Takeo. Yesterday, I visited one such memorial in the Tonle Bati area, which was in my mind when I submitted examples of memorials to the film's director a couple of years ago, as part of the movie's historical research. This one at Sala Trapeang Sva has changed since my last visit in 2008. Then, it was located in remote scrub-land but is now close to newly-built homes and a drug rehab center. The writing on the memorial stupa indicated it was built in 1999, there was no lock on the door and the shrine was full to brimming with human bones and a few skulls. DC-Cam records indicate that more than 95 mass grave pits were discovered at the site and around 10,000 victims were killed during the Khmer Rouge regime in the immediate vicinity. The wall paintings in the open-sided sala next to the stupa were created in 2004 and 2011, showing scenes reminiscent in style to those painted by Vann Nath that hang in the Tuol Sleng Museum in Phnom Penh. Most of the memorials around the country, similar to this one, lie largely forgotten and neglected.


Day trip

Rumnea at Tonle Bati
Rumnea enjoyed her first-ever visits to Phnom Chisor and Tonle Bati and places in between yesterday, despite the danger posed by my first trip outside the city in charge of the moto. However, she was disappointed with the attitude of the 'temple guardians' at Prasat Tonle Bati (Ta Prohm) who were more interested in getting money ('loy') from visitors than tending to the temple and then speaking rudely when no loy was forthcoming. They reminded me of the three witches/hags from Macbeth, grumbling over their boiling cauldron, who later began arguing amongst themselves over the size of their cut from the day's proceedings. Here's Rumnea next to the temple's excellent carving of the Churning of the Sea of Milk. Beware the hags at Tonle Bati.


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