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Grilled Bananas & Roasted Crickets June 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniksnyder @ 5:57 am

Food is always an interesting part of culture, isn’t it? I’d like to think there is nothing I won’t try at least once…maybe just give me a little more time, ok?

I’ve often been asked as I walk by the restaurant next door (you know the one…) “you eat dog?”…I smile and reply in my best Khmer, “maybe another day.” They laugh and I laugh, but one of these days I’m going to surprise both of us.

I have started to slow down and check out street vendors as I walk by to see if there is anything tasty I would like to try. Some of the vendors on wheels walk the streets with their goodies. Not only is it a chance to try something new, but it’s a chance to practice speaking Khmer. So I stop and buy some grilled bananas, fresh pineapple, roasted crickets or maybe ice-cream….Gotcha..haha! I haven’t had the guts to try the crickets yet….maybe another day 🙂

Last week during class my Khmer teacher took me to the market to practice bargaining for something, in Khmer, of course. After making our purchase, a stylish rug for her bathroom, she wanted me to try some food with her. She expressed concern that I wouldn’t want to eat there because it’s very dirty in the market.
“It’s ok,” I said. “I’ll try whatever you put in front of me.”

I’ve heard rumors of people in other countries eating partially developed chickens or ducks out of the egg.

We sat down at a short table on little stools and she ordered up some eggs and sugar cane juice. She showed me how to take my mini-spoon and tap through the top of the egg to make a whole in the top. Add a touch of salt/pepper and a splash of lime juice and you’re good to go.

Just so you know, partially developed baby ducks have already begun growing bones and feathers.


To My Faithful Moto-Doaps June 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniksnyder @ 5:16 am

Dear Moto-Doap,

I’m sorry for all the time and gas I have wasted trying to direct you when I don’t know where I’m going. And for all the extra miles on your moto because I only know how to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ via familiar landmarks when there is probably a much more direct route. I’m sorry for the times when you knew exactly where we were supposed to be going and I steered you wrong thinking that I knew the best way, causing us to drive in circles.
Thank you for your patience, kind smiles and faithful service.



15 minutes early…or 15 minutes late?

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniksnyder @ 5:14 am

Here’s the thing…every building here is hidden away behind large metal gates that all look remarkably similar. So one of the first days to go to school by myself I was sure I had found the right place, but since I was 15 minutes early the doors were not yet open for business. No problem, I found a shady spot and waited….and waited….until it was very nearly time. The doors were still not open and I started to second guess my ability to find the right place.
I texted my friend to double check the address…and what she sent back was not a match. I started walking. After walking several blocks in the blazing heat and smiling at the moto-taxi’s on the corner as I passed them a second and third time I found my school….in the very same place that I started. And now I was 15 minutes late for class. Real cool.

No worries. My teacher is very gracious and laughed with me when I told her what happened.


Guitars and Motos

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniksnyder @ 5:11 am

You’d think I’m a Rockstar for all the stares I was getting. Really I was just doing what everyone does here…carry something way too big for a moto… on a moto. You wouldn’t believe the kind of stuff that gets transported on motos: a hundred chickens, several days worth of merchandise to sell in your shop, 10-15 foot pieces of metal or other various construction materials, the hood of a car…or in my case, a guitar. No matter what or how big…saddle up!

While near misses with other motor vehicles is common, the chance of collision increases greatly when you are peering around the neck of a guitar standing upright in front of you. After making a quick stop at the market I wised up and shifted the guitar to the seat between the driver and me. Much better.