My dear Kacvey,
Two imaginary guys were chatting in a body shop at KM6, just North of Spién Chruoy having his truck undercarriage reinforced; Nam Yang, a fictional driver was having his truck undercarriage reinforced; Ti Ba, a fictive mechanic attending to that job.
Nam Yang: So, just heard that Ti Mauk is coming on 15 June. Are you closing the shop on that day?
Ti Ba: Only in the morning. I’ve been told to go to some place to greet him with flag waving.
Nam Yang: You must be excited. After the “Mé Tié Hién”, it’s now the big guy.
Ti Ba: They have to come to make sure that my friends and I are doing a good job in keeping the two people closed to each other.
Nam Yang: How long he’s going to be here?
Ti Ba: Just 2 days: 15/16 June. Guess, it’s enough time to hear the local reports straight from the horse’s mouth.
Nam Yang: The written reports sent daily up North must not be reassuring?
Ti Ba: Not quite. The guys down here seem to lose control and the issues have become too big for them.
Nam Yang: I don’t quite understand. They control everything that moves or doesn’t?
Ti Ba: Sure, they control, but they control without knowing what to do next; they control what they think they control, but there are tons of things on which they have absolutely no clues.
Nam Yang: They suck, right?
Ti Ba: See, up North, we change, leadership or otherwise. Here, they get stuck in the mud, and they don’t know how to get out.
Nam Yang: But, you guys have been here 30 years, other are coming endlessly; why did you let them lose focus?
Ti Ba: These guys down here think narrow and short: they think that they can live for ever, and worst, they do not realize that clock keeps on ticking. New time, new era, new people. HCM, PVD, Vietminh, Vietcong, all gone. The US was our enemies, now Obama is the 1st US president to set foot on 17th parallel! 2016: new people, new set up, but the core tenet is always there: solidarity among the 2 people since 1955.
Nam Yang: But you trained/brainwashed them and brought them here on 7 March 1979. Why didn’t you train them with broader vision?
Ti Ba: We didn’t because we wanted them to stay local and narrow, so that we can keep them on check. But we now realize that they overstay their power. Therefore, we have to adjust our long-term strategies.
Nam Yang: You know a lot about Khmer politics.
Ti Ba: It’s called communications, and my friends in the shops here and there are all connected. We have a mission and we are not lazy.
Nam Yang: Any idea what would be Ti Mauk’s suggestions?
Ti Ba: We feed him, and let him decide. He’s OUR big boss.
Nam Yang: Like what?
Ti Ba: The bedroom saga took us by surprise. To mix politics with bedrooms is an error for amateur. The use of social media in politics and bragging about millions “like” is for greenhorn. Interior and Defence are not synchronized. Export of fish and timber to the North is down. Investments from and coziness with the Great Wall’s Northern Capital are getting too warm for comfort. Voters registration is too slow and chaotic for my other friends. There are no new faces for the future of our relations, the “kids” are a disaster!
Nam Yang: You talk a lot, and my truck is not fixed yet.
Ti Ba: Don’t worry. I’ll let the logger know that you’ll be there by 5.00 am tomorrow.
Nam Yang: But I don’t have a place to sleep tonight.
Ti Ba: Go across the street to the noodles shop, and tell the noodles man that Ti Bar sends you here for a dinner and a bed in the backroom. If you want other niceties, just let him know.
Nam Yang: You are not going to video my evening and send it to “a cu”, are you?
Ti Ba: No, if you stay out of politics.