Greetings all. As Angela said earlier, it’s been a crap couple of weeks as everyone in our household has been struck with infections and illnesses of various kinds. So as not get to down about things, however, I thought I would chip in with my own list of reasons to be cheerful, part 2.
1. Food: On past visits to Cambodia in the nineties I always used think that local food was pretty average. Either I something has changed or I was just hanging out in the wrong places, but the food here is great as well as being cheap. It is similar to Thai with its own unique flavours and textures. Lots of chillies, Asian basil and other fresh herbs and lots of vegies. The soups are particularly good. Check out the sah ngor jareuh, a clear soup of meat or fish flavoured with lemongrass, galangal, lime and Asian basil. There is also another soup, the name of which escapes me for the time being, which is similar to sah ngor jareuh but flavoured with preserved lemon.
2. The Cambodian people: Angela tells a story about being out to dinner with a group of expatriates during which the issue of national traits was discussed. Yes, I know, always a subjective and risky topic. Apparently none of the people there (apart from Angela) could think of any for Cambodia. In response let me submit the following: determination, strength and great optimism given this country’s poverty and history of violence. I have always been amazed how friendly and welcoming people are here given what they have gone through.
3. Water: This message goes out to all of you going through a Melbourne summer with water restrictions – there is heaps of water here. You can shower, bath or swim in it everyday for as long as you want.
4. Not being at work: Don’t miss it at all … nuff said.
5. Pirated DVDs: I know that video piracy is theft but it is also good being able to buy a six CD collection of 43 Woody Allen films for US$18.
Update: Roo’s articles are now appearing on the IPS Asia News Wire. The first one, an excellent piece on victim participation in the Khmer Rouge trial, can be seen here.