Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Cambodia Recap Day 1 (pt.2)

So after the fruit market, we walked around more and hit up some of the other markets.

They are called "Psars" in the Khmer language. The next one we came across focused on food and clothes. Tons of people around, and I was the only white person I saw for most of the day. Walking through the markets was a total stare-fest for these people. I was an alien.

And no one really wears glasses here. When the Khmer Rouge was wreaking genocide on the country back in the late 70's they were targeting intellectuals because the Khmer Rouge had a dream of a peasant agrarian utopia. Intellectuals were seen as a threat to this "dream". Wearing glasses would literally get you tortured and killed.
Maybe that idea has stuck with them...
or I am taking for granted how difficult it is to get prescription glasses.
I never wear contacts when I travel. Too much fuss and I dont need eye infections on the road.
My vision is pretty strong anyways, I just like the extra crispness while traveling. of the first things I stumbled across was a couple selling wild honey right off the honeycomb. The bees were tiny and some were still stuck onto the comb. Very hardcore.

Each piece went for about $2. Dont forget to bargain.
Buy in quantities too, and ALWAYS SMILE.

A simple grin goes a long way. And learn at the very least some basic market language.
"Hello!" "How are you?" "How much?" "Please?" and "THANK YOU".

Be a positive representation of the west. Remember, our wretched country (USA) along with other European nations helped to destroy this nation back in the 60's and 70's...
and these people dont forget too easily.

I ate the whole comb and chewed on the wax. Bees and all. There goes my veganism!
You have to realize that a total vegan diet really isnt natural, and that we have been eating small insects (whether on purpose or accidentally) for eons. Even horses and cattle eat ants while chewing on grass. Im much more open-minded about this now. Think about this.

I chewed the beeswax like gum for a while, and then went on my way to explore some more.
I ended up coming back there three days later and bought two liters of wild honey for $14.

Markets are my museums. I dont really care much for minute details of history. I feel that its good to learn about the lessons of the past, but I prefer the present moment MUCH more.
I was more impressed by the massive trees at Angkor Wat then the temples. Go figure.
Walking through markets, REAL local markets, is what gets me going. Life is here.
The smells, the sounds and the sights, and the stares of the locals. :)

We found some girls grinding mature coconuts and pressing the pulp and the coconut water into a milky white liquid. They use this for cooking, but we decided that it was our next beverage. I dont think anyone drinks this stuff...its always used for curries and other dishes.
But for real...someone could set up a stall and sell it as a beverage, it was just THAT good.

$1 for a BIG bag. I couldnt finish it all. Overload....
Good thing we were walking everywhere!

Here are some more pics from the market:

A BIG thanks and much respect to Iris for getting most of the people pics here.
Im really cautious about taking pictures of people out of fear that I will make them feel like zoo animals, but Iris seems to pull it off with grace. Be respectful and cautious when taking
pics of people. You dont want to offend anyone while traveling. Ask permission.

We then walked over to Wat Phnom and fed the monkeys that reside at the temple.
Talk about the good life...just chilling and eating fruit all day. However...this can lead to obesity. These monkeys would be searching for food and climbing trees all day in the natural they sit and eat. Chubby monkeys are the result.
The older they are, the bigger they get.

Young Monkey...

Middle Aged Monkey....(nice choice with the Rambutans little buddy)

And reaching her golden years...this fine specimen -

Chilling out on a nice late afternoon in Phnom Penh. one more thing and Im done.

We made a point to get as many massages while we were here.
In Cambodia they have this organization called "Seeing Hands Massage".
It was created to give blind people a way to earn a respectful living.
They give the best massages Ive had. Maybe the Japanese ladies in NY that walk on
your back are a little bit better, but $70 an hour vs $6 DOLLARS AN HOUR...?

The only thing is that it kind of feels like a mini-massage factory. You are in a room with 4 or 5 other people, and the masseurs chat away while they rub you down. So its not a super-relaxing
environment, but speaking in pure utilitarian terms, its by far the best place to get worked out. Wow...they are strong. Even going at 7pm, they still had so much strength in their hands.
I think we had one day where we didnt have a massage. $6 an good.

Finishing the day with a beautiful Cambodian sunset. Lots of French architecture and a
wonderful atmosphere walking along the river. Great place.

Day 2 coming up...



Bella said...


You may have just invented a whole new diet regimen... vegan + bees + Beeganism.

Lovingraw said...

I am glued to your posts Anthony. It sounds like we should do a group trip there one of these days, it would be so much fun! Love the pictures. Blessings!