Five Months, 11 Days and One Hour

Five Months, 11 Days and One Hour

Some who know me well were surprised that I stayed on as the editor of the Khmer Times (KT) for that long, since I haven’t had a “real” job since December 1997. Others couldn’t believe that I would walk away from the dream job of working from home and reporting directly to Mohan, the publisher.


I started work on April 28 and was ready to quit by that afternoon. The agreement was that I would cover five weeks while the editor went to Europe with her mother for a three week holiday. On May 26 – my brother’s birthday – I had a meeting with the publisher. The first item on my agenda was that as soon as the editor returned I was gone. Mohan gave me a long, hard look and said “We are going to have an off-the-record conversation.”

Given that I’ve said it publicly a number of times, it is no secret. The reason Mohan and I get on so well is because we are both workaholics, control-freaks and OCD. Virtually everyone else in the newsroom is literally terrified of him, some to the point of physically shaking when he walks through the office door.

The assessment

Am I glad I did the stint at the newspaper? Absolutely. It was demanding and hectic and the average working day varied from 10 to 14 hours. Weekends? What a quaint concept. Don’t all journalists get a call from their publisher at 07:13 on a Sunday morning?

Would I consider doing it again? Absolutely not. It was the office politics, the procrastination, the underproduction and the back-stabbing that I can’t cope with. I was also reminded that I really don’t like working closely with people. As the quintessential dragon, I function best on my own.

Returning to being freelance means an irregular income, erratic hours if a piece of editing needs to get to Germany by the close of their work day and general instability. But it is the price I am prepared to pay for swimming upstream again.

Mohan and I are negotiating arrangements about various special projects and investigative pieces he wants written. So a new chapter begins. There has never been a shortage of them in my book of life and most are only a few pages.

Further reading

While I was at KT, I was so exhausted by the end of the day that I didn’t have the energy to blog. Even putting a link on Facebook required too much effort.

So for people in the northern hemisphere who are desperate for winter reading – when they are blizzard-bound – and for those in the southern – who want to fill up their tablets for the beach – here are the KT links.

Hope all goes well in your worlds.



Pierre Legros: The “Creator” of Somaly Mam October 10—–creator—-of-somaly-mam/


Women With Clout: Sok Vanna – Manager of a Blind Massage Clinic

, October 3—-sok-vanna-manages-by-blind/



Fork It: Japanese Food Theater, September 26–japanese-food-theater/


Women With Clout: Koy Darakannitha – Deputy Principal, September 26—-koy-darakannitha—–deputy-principal/



Women with Clout: Pru Chanthy – Restaurateur, September 19—-prum-chanthy—–restaurateur/


Fork It: The Contradictions of the Come Cafe, September 12–the-contradictions-of—-come-cafe—/s


Fork It: Smell the Ginger, September 05–smell-the-aroma/

Women With Clout: Soun Som Own Lin – Widow, September 05—-soun-som-own-lin—–widow/


The Cat-And-Mouse-of Land-Claims Continues – August 22

Women With Clout: Tann Chan Narath – August 22—-tann-chan-narath-academic/

Fork It: Will that be Phnom Pehn, Ho Chi Ming or Hanoi? – August 22–will-that-be-phnom-penh–ho-chi-minh-or-hanoi-/


Women With Clout: Dr. Ly Srey Vyan – August 15—dr–ly-sreyvyna/


3 Years 8 Months and 27 Days in Jail – August 1–8-months–27-days-in-jail/

Fork It: A Bit of a Family Affair – August 1–a-bit-of-a-family-affair/


Human Trafficking: What is Cambodia Doing About It?, July 24–what-is-cambodia-doing-about-it-/

Fork It: Noodles Before Your Eyes, July 24–noodles-before-your-eyes/

Women With Clout: Dr. Phit Veasna, July 24–dr–phit-veasna—–dentist/


Tribute to a Piano Tuner, July 17

Tapas, Wine and Lounging, July 17–wine-and-lounging/

Women With Clout: Nou Chamnan – Veterinarian, July 17–nou-chamnan—–veterinarian/


Song Kheang: Heading for the Stars, July 10–heading-for-the-stars /

Fork It: Smell the Aroma, July 10–smell-the-aroma/

Women With Clout: Sanna – Watch Seller, July 10–sanna—–watch-seller/

Youth in Focus: Sao Lany, July 10–sao-lany/


Women With Clout: Sim Da – Matriarch, July 4–sim-da—–matriarch/

Towards a Middle-Class in Cambodia, July 4



The Right to Play at the Stung Meanchy Garbage Dump, June 26

Women with Clout: Meng Sopavotey and Sophavota – Travel, June 26—meng-sopavotey-and-sophavota—–travel/


In Praise of Sex-Pats, June 19

Women With Clout: Serey Pichenda – Student, June 19–serey-pichenda——student/


Australia’s Latest Asylum-Seeker Dumping Destination, June 13—s-latest-asylum-seeker-dumping-destination/

Women With Clout: Sapor Rendall – Maid, Refuge, Icon, June 13–sapor-rendall—–maid–refugee–icon/


The Inside Story of Yoshe Taylor, June 06

The Human Mule, June 06

Women with Clout: Sophiline Cheam Shapiro – The Arts, June 06—–the-arts/



English, the Universal Language, May 30–the–universal-language/

Women With Clout: Sorey Long and Kanika Linden–Cuisine, May 30–sorey-long-and-kanika-linden—cuisine/


The Orphanage Business, May 23

Women With Clout: Lay Vichika, May 23



Women with Clout: Meng Chou Kit – Fashion, May 16–cambodian-women-with-clout-meng-chou-kit—–the-fashion-business/

Thank You to the Cambodian Daily, May 16


Women With Clout: Dr. Mu Sochua, May 09–dr–mu-sochua/

An Interview: Seng Takakneary, May 09–cambodian–women—–with-clout/


The Aji Approach, May 02




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