Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sweaty palms

In the courtyard of Tuol Sleng with Chum Mey
I'm reading through the final manuscript of To Cambodia With Love and my palms are sweating. Kim, the series editor, has just sent it to me and told me I have a day to read it through as the final deadline has arrived like a runaway train and my desire for perfection is just about to pass its sell-by date. I've procrastinated long enough, now it's time to face the music and produce what I promised to ThingsAsian, the publishers, what seems like a lifetime ago. Kim has done a fabulous job in picking up the pieces I sent her and I'm very proud of everyone's combined efforts. Nothing is certain in publishing though it looks like TCWL might be out in a few months - but keep it under your hat for the moment.

This morning I took my friend Ting, she's visiting Cambodia for the first time from her home in Taiwan, to Tuol Sleng. She's already seen the city's other major tourist sights on her own but wanted me to explain about Tuol Sleng, the Khmer Rouge, et al. During our visit we met with Chum Mey, one of the three remaining survivors of Tuol Sleng, and who has been in the international press a lot in recent months due to the trial of Comrade Duch, the former director of the detention center where Chum Mey was incarcerated in the final months of the Khmer Rouge control over Phnon Penh. He talked to a small group of British visitors, who were overawed to meet him, completely unexpectedly, with translations provided by their guide, explaining briefly about his detention and torture and thanked them for coming to Cambodia. By the look on their faces, I think he made their Tuol Sleng visit one they'll never forget.
This afternoon I inflicted two games of Cambodian football onto Ting. I don't think she will ever forgive me. She doesn't even like football. They were the opening pair of Hun Sen Cup last 16 games and whilst Phnom Penh Crown just scraped a 1-nil win over Phuchung Neak, Wat Phnom (formerly Spark) went goal-crazy with a 10-1 win over Mekong University. I get the feeling Ting can't wait to get out of town and up to Siem Reap. Little does she know there's two more games for her to endure tomorrow afternoon, before she gets the bus! More on the footy results later.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our printers are sweating too, Andy, after turning out 4500 cover kits of TCWL (we've profited from a composite including the back cover of To Vietnam With Love). Glad you've stayed the path and didn't change the cover color or layout, as some had suggested. We're eagerly awaiting for the "fill". My challenge will be, getting your signature on one of the fake copies during the autograph's night at PP.

January 31, 2010 4:21 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Alain, you really must get out more!

January 31, 2010 10:36 AM  
Blogger mythicaldude said...

Hey congratulations Andy! Good news to hear. Years in the making... quite a long gestation period. Maybe next time you'll have twins! Or were you just constipated? Just kidding of course. Can't wait to see the book. Best of luck!

February 1, 2010 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,
I'll be looking for a temporary job in PP within 2-4 months, and thought maybe you and your firm Hanuman will need people to monitor fake copies of your travel guide in the market stalls and stands of the city, perhaps on a daily basis? If this is indeed a job opportunity, pls let me know and I will send you a brief CV. Thank you, and best regards - Cindy

February 2, 2010 3:35 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

no forseeable job opportunities for someone of your (limited) capabilities but maybe you can conduct your own investigations into Alain and his team when you are here, and report them to the Ministry of copyright or whatever.
Are there no temp job opps in your own country?

February 2, 2010 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, if I'm not welcome even to present a proposal, I shall look somewhere else. Its not that my capabilities are limited (they are not), but when you plan to stay for a longer period travelling below budget, every opportunity to make some money on the way should be given consideration. Otherwise, my grandfathers have taught me never to be ashamed when asking for work, whatever it be. I don't have any idea whatsoever of who are "Alan and his team". Sorry for bothering you. Cindy

February 2, 2010 1:10 PM  

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