Thinking out of proverbial box could better Cambodia

You can be sure that participants in this protest against the ruling party a while back collectively represent unfathomable need.

Modern history has demonstrated that, indeed, there always is something new under the sun.

Under this nation’s punishing sun, perhaps some possibly new ideas could improve the lives of the heartbreakingly numerous Cambodians unable even to hope for a better life.

As I make my way around the country, various Continue reading

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Why study a language that only 15 million speak?

khmer sign

The language of Cambodia, called “Khmer” and usually pronounced K-mye, is hardly heard around the world.  No one who doesn’t live here needs to speak, understand or write it.

It happens that I have an aptitude for language.  I can get along somewhat in French and Spanish (the latter sadly falling into disuse now that I have left New York) perhaps because I took the not unusual path in olden times of studying Latin for a year or two in junior high school.

Thus did I decide to pick up a little Khmer when I decided last year to move to Phnom Penh. With echoes of the Ugly American reverberating in my brain, I considered it appropriate to study the language if I was to be a resident of the country.

Not to learn the language struck me then and strikes me now as arrogant.

The irony is that Continue reading

New Census data slice the Big Apple into pieces

For lower-priced housing, head to a whiter shade of pale. (Click to expand.)

The U.S. Census Bureau released five-year American Community Survey (ACS) estimates for the first time yesterday, making available social, economic, housing and demographic statistics for every community in the nation.

Reeves, Tex., was among counties with the lowest median home value–$29,000–while Nantucket, Mass. was among those with the highest median–approximately $1 million.

Manhattan’s median grew from $449,800 in 2000, Continue reading