Street Life, Phnom Penh
Fondest memory: At any rate, we went back to this same stand every day of our stay in Phnom Penh, sometimes twice. The young girl that manned it got the biggest kick out of us as we ordered the same thing every time, once even having two consecutive portions each. We knew it was a bit over indulgent but it was cheap by western standards and we figured we might not ever find this elusive nectar again. She just smiled and laughed. I tried to capture her infectious smile on film but could never mange to get her to both look at the camera and smile. It was one or the other. I chose the smile much like we chose her stand. She, like what she served, was hard to resist. I know if I am ever back in Phnom Penh, the first thing I will look for is that smile. The first taste I hope to find will be that fruit shake.
Many travelers will not use ice when on the road and it is generally a good precaution but some places are too hot to not be tempted. Cambodia is one case in point. In addition to the heat, the ice is said to be hygienically made though this says little for how it is handled after this process is finished. I saw lots of blocks of ice sitting on the pavement waiting for their intended recipients to drag them to their coolers. But the last time I checked, no serious health hazard has been attributed to mere dirt even if ingested so it kept me not from enjoying one of Phnom Penh’s better taste treats, the frozen fruit shake.
There were loads scattered about the city but the best ones seemed to only appear in the evening outside the big central market. They generally served up some fried noodle type snacks so it was easy and cheap to make a meal of it as well. Most of them had the same ingredients but we found one that had sour sop, though it seemed to be a bit early for the season of this fruit to be in full swing. It went really well with papaya and the real secret sauce so to speak was the addition of canned sweetened condensed milk. It sounds awful but mixed in with these tropical fruits, the flavor was positively addictive! (concluded below in Fondest Memory)
Fondest memory: El ambiente de las calles en un dia festivo. Las calles se llenan de puestos callejeros de comida y bebida, en el suelo extienden sus esterillas e improvisan de pronto unos restaurantes donde antes solo habia asfalto.
Favorite thing: Here are two very important persons (VIP) in Phnom Penh. They were invited here by their President for some secret missions...lol. Generally, Phnom Penh is beyond your imagination if you come from Siem Reap. This city is almost another Saigon but smaller version, full of vehicles, peoples, rats, litters and pollutions. We came from Siem Reap, our expectation was another small town but wow, it was that big.
Favorite thing: The sheer chaos of Phnom Penh is part of its charm. You never know what you'll see next, like this man pulling his daughter through the downtown traffic.