Above: Politics, Cambodian style! Up beside the Mekong, on the way to Kratie.

Despite Prime Minister Hun Sen's dubious politics and even more dubious human rights record, his party won the February 2002 elections with an increased majority. Mr Pumpy, despite repeated lectures from me, refuses to take it seriously.

"Hey, lighten up, Feely! I'm just getting a free ride into Kratie! And besides, the locals are going ape! They think it's a gas!" he said.

"Yeah, so what's that got to do with it? You're an educated, politically aware Westerner and you should know better!" I said.

"What, so you think you're superior to the locals do you, Feely?' he said.

"No, Pumpy, I don't... well maybe a little bit...." I said.

"You worry me sometimes, Feely...." he said as the truck sped off.