Author Archives: Dermot Sheehan

The Ashes


The body of former king Norodom Sihanouk was cremated last Monday. It was quite a momentous occasion, and although a supposed one million people lined the streets when his body was repatriated from Beijing in October, the funeral procession attracted…

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Cambodia Film Reviews: The Girls of Phnom Penh

girls of pp

This documentary follows the lives of Srey Leak, Cheata and Mey Nea, three young sex-workers in the capital. Working in a huge up-market karaoke parlor by night or streetwalking, and living in a decrepit room in a slum the rest…

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Phnom Penh Pathos Part 1


Wild Turkey Man was a real grifter: he had some great tricks going. He’d hit the front of the palace running at 7.25 sharp, just as the first tourist coaches arrived. Wow, were those guys green, they’d just hit Cambodian…

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Last Orders for Phnom Penh’s Drunkest Vietnam Veteran


Well he came home from the war with a party in his head and an idea for a fireworks display and he knew that he’d be ready with a stainless steel machete and a half a pint of Ballentine’s each…

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Carmageddon in Cambodia


A lot of people here in Cambodia judge others by their cars and vehicles. Many do this going by checking the model and year, and I guess it colors my thinking too, but I go more by behavior, and the…

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Comparing Cambodia

comparing cambodia

At a moment of huge frustration a few months back, I asked a work colleague and old friend for some advice, something I unfortunately have never really done, and besides I’ve never listened to anyone’s advice anyway. All he had…

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Phnom Penh: My First Visit in 1999


I first heard about Cambodia when I was very young, it was in crisis and I learned about it through various films we were shown in school and also via the kids’ show Blue Peter money-drives on the TV. Although…

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Street Fighting Techniques in Cambodia

head kick

I have only witnessed a handful of street fighting incidents or violence in my decade here in Cambodia. A couple were simply mentally unstable people going off, like one night near Psah Kandal where a guy was swinging around a…

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Gawping at Death in Cambodia


I saw my first corpse at the age of about five. One of the local teens, who I knew to hang out with, and who I remember sometimes making a bit of a ruckus with his friends at night, was…

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Phnom Penh Pet Peeves


Many people arrive on these shores and feel instantly enamored by the place, and as they settle in are often ‘rosy-eyed’ and forgiving towards any unfamiliar customs or behavior they encounter. It is only far later, when everything becomes commonplace…

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