Friday, May 30, 2008

Rotten neighbors and criminals

I just found a webpage called, where you can blame your neighbors for beeing noisy, disturbing or whatever. They also included sexual offenders in this map. Image this map for Phnom Penh: Nearly every house would be marked as either rotten or offending. Ok, ironically speaking. But it would never educate people to stop doing things like being noisy or rape, instead, some would be proud to be on the map.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Thomas Wanhoff in Vietnam

If you like to know whats going on with my move to vietnam, check this out:

We already found an apartment today in Saigon Distr. 7!. Yeah.
Thats our new kitchen
New Home in Saigon Kitchen

Friday, May 16, 2008

Natalys Farewell and Birthday Party

Girl, 7, HIV positive, has to leave Footprints school in Phnom Penh

What a shame:
An Australian foster mother of a seven-year-old girl who is HIV positive went public this week over her outrage that the private Footprints school in Phnom Penh expelled her daughter within 24 hours of finding out her status.
Read more on Expat-advisoryPlease leve you comments there!

I found this Emailadress, if you like to contact the school (looks very professional, a yahoo account for business, wow):

Dogs as food

Again and aganin we are listening to stories that Cambodians switched to dogs as a protein source and the tehy are stealing the dogs for having dinner.

DPA, a german press agency, had a story like this:
Phnom Penh - Dognappings are sharply up in some areas of Cambodia as
people seek alternative sources of protein and the prices of more
conventional meats continue to rise, dog owners and police said

Military police officer Ra Dy, who lives on the outskirts of the
capital, said he personally had lost three dogs in quick succession and
had decided to stop keeping any more until things settled down.

'If you check on them every hour, they might still be there, but if you
forget and leave them for two hours, they are gone,' he said.

Khieu Viriya, 22, a dog fancier from the western suburb of Toul Tom
Poung, said he has also lost three dogs recently to thieves.

'And the story is the same for the neighbours, too. It is terrible to
lose a dog, because they are like family, but even worse when you know
they are to be eaten,' he said.

Even if its true that some stupid people catching dogs, but luckily they also use them as pets.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Yamaha Fino for sale

Mein Motorbike
Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff
I have to sell my beauty queen, a pink Yamaha Fino automatic, just 2000 Kiloeters, bought new in Augist 2007. anyone interested? Call me at 012 598 370 or mail thomas.wanhoff(at) I never had an accident!

Price: 1200 USD

Sorry, its sold!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Moving from Cambodia to Vietnam

Does anyone has some experience with moving from Cambodia to Vietnam? Especially in how to bring your items through customs?
We are talking with a moving company, they told us the best way is by ship (?). But the quote was quite expensive, so we are looking for alternatives.
And: As we have to dogs, how to bring them to Vietnam? (I already know there is no quarantine, but we need all the vaccinations).

Friday, May 9, 2008

Working in a Cambodian company

Since August 2007 I am working in a Cambodian company, called Monument Books and Toys. Since January 2008 I am the manager of the toys department, responsible for the shop development and the distribution development as well as advertising and staff training.
When I started, my biggest concern was that I never worked at a retail shop, I never had anything to do with orders from overseas, with minimum order quantity and 20 feet containers. But I was learning my whole life (and still go on), so that was a learnign process too - but I made it.
Another concern (I am german, we always have concerns), was about culture. We are just two foreigners, our GM is French, so how would it be working together in English, which isn't the mother tongue of any of us. Actually that led to the most problems - mainly simple misunderstanding. I was again surprised about differences between the french and the German culture (it seems Germany is much more focused on international business). so what about the Cambodian-German conflicts? In my daily experience there where only a few. I tried to understand as much as possible how people here are thinking. Its different: some, so called well educated collegues with some experience in other countries or at least foreigners) are able to work very professional. Others are missing basics in knowledge about the outside world.
Thats seems to be the biggest obstancles for Cambodian owned companies: to except the lack of knowledge and experience.
Regarding markets, it seems that people first try to control a market instead of facing competition. Also I learned that strategy doesn't see to be important as well as plans, concepts, even budgests. Many companies are still structured like a family business.
At least, the relationship between boss and employee seems often still like in the colonial time. But as there are not a lot qualified people in this country, companies have to understand about how important human ressources are.

Why I am writing this? Because I will leave Cambodia in June. My wife got a new job in Vietnam (not far, right?) and I will follow her of course.

I met wonderful people here, and I will miss them, but I also learned my lessons. The cultural difference seems to be a problem more in business than in daily life. Cambodia ist still undeveloped, and its sad to see, how some people selling this country for their own profits. I hope one day, the Cambodian people are able to get the power back in their own hands.

Friedrich Kleinknecht

Friedrich Kleinknecht
Originally uploaded by thomaswanhoff
at Art Cafe Phnom Penh

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hun Sens Prison?

I just heard a story that a prison in northern Phnom Penh is owned by Hun Sen/Government and that relatives have to pay for their people imprisoned. Does anyone knows more about that?
UPDATE: More information, it seems to be a correction center now operated by Military Police, mainly for drug user. But as I heard it a good place to keep people away.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Cambodian Circus

Its quite a while since my last blog, but as we all I am busy too these days. I am still working on my book (actually a translation project, topic is blogging), which takes time beneath my dayjob in the toyshop.
To get some new impressions beside blogs and toys we went to the Cambodian Circus today at the Chenla Theatre. It was so amazing, I didn't expect such a high level, especialy in expression and choreographic. They did everything right, wether the way the did acrobatics or the part II, when they combined historical stories with dance, acrobatic and contortion.
Here a short video I made.
The original production was created by Ms. Nay Nary, Deputy Director of the National School of Circus with support from the Asian Cutural Coucil/Rockefeller Mentorship Program and Amrita Performing Arts. Sponsor was ANZ BAnk.