Can you spot The Pen ?

For those of you that didn’t know – when I was a young Turk, I used to be a pit trader on the Sydney Futures Exchange. This involved a heady mix of buying and selling 10yr interest rate futures, a lot of stress, a lot of yelling and screaming and a lot of nerves. Not to mention the silly amounts of booze,drugs,women and cars that went with it. All in all a bloody good time !

As we prepare to trade up to our new manse here in Cambodia, we have decided to pump and dump some household stock and I can tell you, the SFE pits were a walk in the park compared to the lot you have to deal with here. Using an infamous internet based parent’s group, I have managed to sell most of the stock but not without having to hold my breath on occasion to stop myself from punching people in the face.

Buy : $330 Sell : $350

Antique Style table ( Stock code AST ) : I bought this from  a departing French NGO worker 2 years ago when we moved into our current villa. I thought it was a steal at the price – especially with 8 chairs included although several off the chairs were a bit ratty. The table , whilst I am sure is not made of rare wood, is solid as hell and a lovely style rarely seen. The top had a few cracks in it but it was a lovely piece and it pained me to sell it. At the end of the day, I thought we would all sit around it for dinner but we never used it for anything other than the odd dinner, as a buffet table and an oversize wallet and keys table ( L2.1m by W1.1m !! ).  I advertised it on the internet at $450 and get a phone call from a Filipino lady who wants to take a look and a time is allotted the next day. She never showed and the next day again she calls me at work and says she wants to go look .

” Where were you yesterday ?”

“Oh i got busy …”

” Yeah well I am not exactly doing nothing all day sitting on the porch waiting for you to show up…If you say you are coming……..come…..”


So she goes over to the house and next thing I get a phone call and it goes something like this :

” I am out your house and I like the table . What kind of wood is it ?”

” No idea”

” Is it hardwood ?”

“No idea”

“It has cracks in it the top of it which Ill have to get fixed”

” So…..get them fixed….”

“How much is the table only ?”

“$350”  ( I figure I’ll get my original buy price back and we can use the chairs at the new house for parties and they are worth $30 each new )

“How much for just the chairs ?”

“I wont sell the chairs by themselves – then I only have a table and that’s not as easy to sell on its own..”

“oh….so …you wont seperate ?”


“So how much for the table and chairs ?”


” So what is you best price ? Your best discount ?” ?

” well…….make me an opening bid and we will see how we go . that’s how this works….”

” but i am worried it will be too low !’

“Well… will never know until you ask…”

” I can offer you $350….”


“wait…….you are selling me the table AND chairs for $350 ?????? “


” Oh my god thank you so much !!”

” See that wasn’t hard was it !!”

She then goes through the same thing with the bases of our floor lights and eventually pays $50 for something we paid $30 for. When she shows up several days later AN HOUR FUCKING LATE with her furniture restorer they stand there and uhm and ahh about the process of restoring. I am like ” yo…can you get the hell out of my house and talk about it somewhere else w !?” . SHEEEEEEEEEEZUS.

Buy : $180 Sell : $150

King Size Rattan bed base ( Stock code KSB ) :  We get a simple phone call from some Germans I know.  They look, they buy at full price. Excellent business transaction. My parting words with a wink wink nudge nudge ” we conceived our son in that bed so be careful how you use it HE HE ho ho “.

Buy : $400 Sell : $400

Rattan Sofa and coffee table ( Stock code RSC ) : We get a single call from a Spaniard called Miguel ( of course ! ). ” Ill take it”. It will be replaced by a copy of the Hiroomi Fruit Bowl sofa if our lady cane make it. This is something that I know if done right will sell for large dollars later on.

Hiroomi Tahara sofa ( Stock code HTS )

After the household stock sales there was an outright Swap trade. I gave mum our queen size rattan bed and mattress and mum gave us the hardwood bunks ( Stock code MHB ) from the apartment. I need to buy some cheap mattresses but these are going in the ” Bunk Room” I am going to create upstairs at the new manse. A further outright stock purchase saw me buy  a fantastic set of hardwood king single sized bunks from a kiwi chap at the low low price of $120 ( Sock code NZBB ). So now one of the rooms upstairs will sleep at least 6 people with ease as the king bunks can take couples on each level. I have ling wanted to do this so family have beds to sleep in after the parties that we invariably have almost every other week.

**Phnom Penh House Hold Furniture Exchange

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  1. LaudJohn says:

    Ahh… the SFE.

    You bring back memories and nightmares for me.

    I was a local there for a while. I entered with way more money than when I left .. well any amount is way more than the nothing I left with. The adrenaline was addictive.

    Now you mention your new Manse. Last post on this topic (prior to 36 posts on your pup) had you looking. What have you found?

    • John…. as Senior Bond Trader at Merryl Lynch I was responsible for making and breaking my fair share of locals ;-). Glad you weren’t one of them . What years were you there ? The new manse – watch this space.

      Its pretty special……

  2. Goyzer says:

    McDonalds toilets or Jacksons on George today….??!!

    LMAO those were the days my boy love it

    That looks like the LIFFE floor by the way ….

  3. Goyzer says:

    Can that , just spotted the short sleeved jackets !!

  4. okimura1170 says:

    I was there 1987-92 (includes time at O’Connell St floor ), wondered if you have any other old pictures that you can post, thanks okimura

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