Faine Opines

Southeast Asia, liberation technology, drones, and pontification

About

Biography

I’m a twenty-something journalist, photographer,  and all purpose tech nerd, with a life-long interest in travel, food, and technology.

I’m mostly from Northern California, and I’m a 2010 graduate of Tulane University with an Honors English degree. I’ll be finishing a Masters degree in journalism at Stanford University in June of 2014. I plan to return to Southeast Asia when I’m finished – though I’m open to suggestions otherwise.

I’ve worked throughout Southeast Asia, with sidebars in India and Europe. I was recently a reporter centered in Phnom Penh, avoiding getting hit by motorbike drivers and figuring out the curious workings of Cambodian society on a day-to-day basis.

At Stanford, I’ve become interested in the possibilities of using UAV (drone) technology for journalism. I’m hoping to incorporate drone and aerial imagery into my own work as a foreign correspondent. I’m a proud member of the Stanford University UAV Club, and I’m enjoying learning how to build and fix my own flying robots.

Technology and development is another long-time interest of mine. I write regularly about Internet freedom, Internet law, politics and the rise of social media, with a particular focus on the political implications of these new technologies.

I love photography and am becoming very interested in doing more work in videography, as I hone my skills here at Stanford. As will likely become obvious if you follow this blog, I’m not exactly averse to drawing cartoons that make fun of my fellow expats.

In my free time, I’m a food blogger and food-lover who spends most of her vacation time finding the best restaurants, street-stalls, and markets in any given location. I’m especially fond of photographing stuff I eat, which annoys my friends and makes me happy. You can check out my food blog at Things I Ate in Cambodia. I often provide un-solicited travel advice, especially when it comes to the art of eating.

Favorite Places

Kampot, Cambodia, especially the bar at Bodhi Villa. The isolated and beautiful capitol of Gangtok in Sikkim, a semi-independent state of India. Mumbai after dark, with good friends. New Orleans, especially the (functioning) levees, especially levees with people I like and bicycles. (Weird bars included in the equation). The Himalayas in general. The island of Koh Lanta and anything edible in Northern Thailand. The bizarre and charming inhabited bits of Urumqi, China. Northern Spain and Northern California, which have similar climates and extremely dissimilar eating habits. Half Moon Bay.

Favorite Things to Eat

Singapore chili crabs. Gumbo, the way my grandmother makes it. North Carolina smoked BBQ, especially the stuff my dad makes. The lamb shank at Aziza restaurant in San Francisco. Pretty much everything on the menu at Asador Etxebarri in the Basque country of Spain. Ethiopian food. Roasted chicken any way you’ll make it. Osso bucco, Marcella Hazan’s recipe. Stir-fried greens with lots of garlic. Hot-pot with a bunch of noisy friends. Cuban sandwiches with a side of fresh pork skins with extra hot sauce. Guacamole and mole amarillo and fresh corn tortillas with cabeza meat. Hamachi-kama. Curiously flavored Asian potato chips. And you know what? Man, I love ketchup. No shame.

11 Comments

  1. hi Faine , enjoyed your Jolie story. I’m about to visit Cambodia to write a story on new Cambodia for the Daily Telegraph. It would be good to hear more of your opinions and experiences.
    @johnnytelegraph

  2. Dear Ms Greenwood,

    I had reason to read your opinion piece in “This Week” Phnom Penh (Dec 8-15th, 2011). Your article entitled “Noam Chomsky: The Khmer Rouge Were Actually Pretty OK, Guys” caused me great concern.

    I know Chomsky’s writing and Cambodia quite well. The claims that he is a Jewish and Khmer holocaust denier are baseless and I am struck by the fact that you admit to not having even read any of his writing at all. In your poorly written article you quote Nate Thayer who appears to be a respectable journalist and on his blog/website he does raise some valid and detailed concerns about some of the accounts Chomsky gave at the time Khmer Rouge regime. These are quite detailed and would be contested by many people. Even if all Mr Thayer’s concerns were proven true they would not amount to him denying the Khmer genocide happened.

    To quote Chomsky directly, the Khmer Rouge behavior was “the great act of genocide in the modern period”. Manufacturing Consent (doc 1993.)

    What I object to is you reporting on someone else’s claims (unreferenced by you ) that you appear to know nothing about and in such a flippant manner.

    From your blog it seems that you take a keen interest in Cambodia and its history, I feel that your article was not well researched and would only add to further ignorance among those that know little about either Chomsky or the Khmer Rouge genocide.

    I am not writing this with the aim of anonymous internet negativity and to that end I would value your feedback to my criticisms.

    Regards- R James

  3. Juanita Mendoza

    October 5, 2012 at 3:08 am

    Hi Faine! My name is Juanita Mendoza. I am a freelance journalist in Colombia. And I´m reviewing the situation of Cambodia, in respect with the human rights violations and the imprisonment of Cambodian journalist Sonando. I was wondering if you could give me your opinions and thoughts about this matter.

    How do you see the cambodian situation? Has there been any help from organizations such as the UN or Amnesty International, in this country? What doe this all mean for the freedom of speech there should be in every country?
    Id appreciate greatly your help. Thank you,

  4. Sophie Chatfield

    May 2, 2013 at 4:43 am

    Dear Faine. My name is Sophie Chatfield (nee Lane) – Vincent Lane is my father. I looked up his name on the internet today, and came across your entry. Sadly he died yesterday, age 91.My mother Sue is also 91 – they were together for 74 years. Vincent was an amazing man, and I’m sure you would have loved to meet him. Setting up the training school in Mayaysia was one of many adventures, in Hong Kong, Iran and later France, and finally north Wales.

  5. Hi Faine,
    Just to tell you that I really liked your article “How to Make Cambodian Friends and Influence People: Expats Parallel Lives in Phnom Penh”. A very good analysis. Very sharp. Thanks for trying to open this window on the magical Cambodian world…

  6. Douglas White

    July 18, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I read you article on Fukushima steam event today and was left with many questions. If rain can leak into reactors and cause steam why doesn’t the sea water they spray on reactor to keep them cool create the same steam. I also wonder how the radiation levels could be stable while many sources indicate large increases in test wells and in the ocean. Maybe an easier report would be to list foods you might consider not eating as a result of contamination. As time passes the contamination goes up the food chain and we eat from the top. Regardless I often wonder how it could be stable while getting worse.

  7. Faine,

    Thanks for providing me with laughter and good food(tips), as they come in handy when discovering a new place to call home 🙂 Would love to join you on your next review!

  8. Hi Faine,

    I am a casting producer for an American television show about people moving abroad. I came across your blog and wanted to reach out to see if you might be interested in participating in an episode of our show. We are currently casting recent expats living in Cambodia.

    House Hunters International tells the story of people who have picked up their lives and moved to a foreign location to pursue a new life abroad. Being on our show is a lot of fun for our participants and is a great way for them to document their search for a new home. The show airs on the Home and Garden Network (HGTV) in the US and Canada and is one of the network’s highest rated shows.

    If you or anyone you know is interested in this opportunity please let me know. I would love to tell you more about our program and hear about your experiences in Cambodia.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon!

    Rebecca

  9. Faine… you my dear, are all kinds of awsome.. love the artwork and snappy observations. A refreshingly sharp and tacite look into South East Asia.

  10. Hi, I came across your blog today, travelling in Cambodia and seeking out some information on Phnom Penh…links led to links and to one of your posts. Well written posts and am adding your blog to my list of blogs of interest. Just went through the ‘about me’ section though, and just wanted to point out that Sikkim really is a part of India and not semi-independent, no matter what recent graduates/volunteer/traveller a.k.a self-proclaimed experts on countries might have mentioned! I do take exception to that and think it ought to be rectified in your descrip. Apart from this, look forward to visiting your blog for updates at a later stage.

  11. Hey! I’m traveling in India so I would love some tips on keeping a blog. Are you in DC now? We went to Tulane together:)

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