The Black Panther Book of Khmer Records

Posted on by Jack Stevens


Not to be outdone by its older, Irish predecessor, the Black Panther brand of Export Quality Extra Stout has teamed up with a local publisher for the first edition of a ‘Book of Khmer Records, Facts & Figures.’

Scholarly research and painstaking cross-reference seem to have been delicately underplayed in the version that arrived on my desk recently, but this level of attention to detail and rigorous quality control is thought to be in the spirit of both the black beer lending its name to this venture and the good citizens of Cambodia themselves. Below is a selection that caught my eye whilst thumbing through from back to front cover; records, facts and figures that may need confirmation or refutation, but whose spuriousness are in little doubt.

1. Ice is made by adding salt to pure water; that’s why you can see the bits sometimes when ice melts.

2. Long Beach, in the country of Californya [sic], is the longest beach in the world.

3. Kompong Thom is the biggest port (or quay) in Cambodia.

4. There are 52 states in America (or 53 if you include Washington D.C)

5. The Khmer Empire in its heyday was the biggest in the world ever.

6. Khmer language has excellent linguistic rules that are superior to those of any human language in the world.

7. Manchester United is a small town near Manchester City, in London.

8. In the 2000 Sydney Olympics the slowest competitor in the Women’s 100m was Cambodian. (Unofficial and far speedier -trials are held each morning at the Koh Kong/Hat Lek crossing at the official 7a.m. opening, when as many as 50 aunties and grannies can be seen, sarongs hitched and kramas flapping, legging it to the Thai side to get first pick of turnips, dried fish, reject fruit etc.)

9. Angkor Wat is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and the most beautiful. (And the new Kirirom Resort is one other too Perhaps)

10. The rare Irrawaddy dolphins lurking in the Mekong around Kratie are in fact half woman, half fish. (Not merely a myth)

11. The big island off the Kampot/Kep coast that used to be in Cambodia was given to the Vietnamese because the French thought ‘Girl Vietnam more pretty.’

12. Khmers tend to be confused about commitments ‘because the Khmer people live in a country in which the various seasons are not clear-cut: the rainy season and the dry season, as well as the cold season, start and end at fuzzy dates, known to no one.’ In contrast, countries in colder regions have clear-cut seasons. For example, on the European continent:

Spring is from 21st March to 21st June;
Summer is from 21st June to 22nd September;
Autumn is from 22nd September to 21st December;
Winter is from 21st December to 21st March.?

13. If you have ghosts, wear red clothes, then they can’t see you.

14. GDP per capita in Cambodia is $249/year.

15. There were about 50 million people in Cambodia when the French arrived, and only 7 million when the KR came to power.

16. The ancient Khmer kings built exactly 1080 old temples across the Khmer Empire.

17. There are no regional dialects or accents amongst the people of Khmer ethnicity across Cambodia.

18. Marijuana is used in all Khmer cuisine.

19. Manchester United used to be the best football team in the world, but then Red Devils became the top team.

20. Many, many coffee shops add knickers/panties to the water they boil to addict customers to their coffee (especially cafes run by Vietnamese with those sort of deck chairs with white interwoven plastic straps) thereby ensuring your continued patronage.

21. Angkor Thom is the world’s biggest Angkor.

22. At Kulen Mountain outside Siem Reap used to have many, many tiger. ”Then Pol Pot came and scared away the tigers. The tigers run to stay in Thailand, then after Pol Pot go away already, tiger they come back. Now have many, many tiger. But cannot see them. ”

23. There is no divorce in Cambodia, unlike America, French, U.S.A etc. ‘because lady Cambodia very good.’

24. Sun Sisamot (Sensi Samot) was the most famous singer in the world, ”then Pol Pot kill him.”

25.The Cambodian national football side has thrown the most games in the world in a five-year period.

26. ‘At all levels of organization within Khmer society, ranging from family life to national government, the accepted leader or decision-maker is a woman.’

27. The flight from Siem Reap to Bangkok is the most expensive timetabled international flight in the world ($/km).

28. Sections of the renovated Route 3 are the narrowest new road ever constructed.

29. The French Foreign Legion (infamously hardcore nutcases) got a spanking from people with crossbows, wearing handkerchiefs covering their bits and bobs, who rarely get out of their hammocks.

30. Angkor Beer won gold, silver and bronze medals at the Australian Beer Festival therefore it is the best beer in Australia (and Cambodia). And the 2nd and 3rd best too.

31. Klang Beer is the strongest beer in the world.

32. There are caves in Kampot province where diamonds are being grown, but they are not ripe yet so cannot be harvested for a few hundred more years. Or more.

33. Bats are a type of bird. Because they can fly.

34. Wing mirrors on motorbikes make you look silly.

35. It sometimes costs a lot of money to get a good job in the civil service.

36. Sheep is another name for goat.

37. Children risk serious eye infection by watching copulating dogs that have become stuck together in the act (with heads facing in different directions).

38. Khmer boxers have never lost to Thai boxers.

39. ”Faithfulness to one”s word is among the principal Khmer virtues.”

40. Khmers are indifferent to laws and regulations because there are rarely natural disasters, earthquakes, blizzard, volcano etc.

41. Angkor Wat is said to be the biggest religious monument in the world. Khmers refer to Angkor Wat as Angkor Doot, meaning small Angkor.

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