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13 Feb 2002

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Chinese New Year has been and gone - almost. It's strange that we have celebrated more here in Cambodia than when we were in Hong Kong. I guess it's partly because there are so many Chinese supervisors working in the factory and partly because the factory boss is from Singapore. But ordinary Cambodians celebrate too as many having Chinese ancestors. We noticed that many of the shops and houses along the route to town had brightly lit shrines inside, or tables laid out with offerings, and every day this week we have seen the Lion Dance teams performing around the city. People really let their hair down, the main result being a dramatic increase in the number of road accidents due to drunken drivers - we saw two in our short trip back from dinner on Monday and the guards told us there were three outside the factory gates late the same evening. We're talking motorbikes here, not cars, so injuries are often serious or fatal. What can you expect when there are no drink-driving laws, no prosecution of bad drivers, no driving insurance and no crash helmets? It's like the Wild West sometimes...