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Fish feet!

25 Sep

In Siem Reap, my mascota and I also let hungry fish eat our feet!

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There were many signs to let us know that there weren’t any piranhas (I certainly hope not!) and it was $3/30 minutes with a free beer or coke but we opted for just a dollar for ten minutes. At first, I had to keep taking my feet our because it was soooo tickly, but we got over it fast. It wasn’t that bad, when you consider fish mouths are sucking the dead skin from your feet! Definitely an experience!

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And another awesome side note – at the Night Market, an one hour foot massage (which is amazing after walking around Angkor Wat for two days) is only $3! Plus it included a shoulder and neck massage for free and the best back cracking of my life.

In Saigon, we got full body massages for about $6 also – now for Thailand, but no special ones 😉

Oh, Siem Reap

25 Sep

I have to admit it. Emilio really had to convince me to come to Cambodia because I kept reading about wars on the border, random land mines ready to explode, and crazy meth heads in the back packer districts. In Phnom Phem, I even made us get a hotel out of the backpacker area (which is where we are staying in every city, by the way). But we really enjoyed PP and their nighttime Macrena dancers. But we both agreed that in Siem Reap, we fell in love. Part of this journey is thinking about possible teaching opportunities for next year, and Cambodia might be it. It’s super cheap and the people were amazingly friendly. (I guess it helps that the US hasn’t fucked the county over)

One of the best things? 50 cent beers on Pub Street. And you can pretty much eat whatever type of cuisine you want. Of course we ate Khmer Curry and spring rolls, but we also had amazing Indian food (there are a lot of Indians in Cambodia and even more in Thailand), pizza, and french fried (and no, that’s not a typo).

Even better? All this food and beer and we never spent over $7 on a meal. And if you know me and Emilio, you know these $7 are mostly beer. A cold beer is amazing when it’s sweaty hot and humid outside.

My other favorite thing was the fruit shakes. You could get dragon fruit, mango, banana – whatever you wanted – and it was pure blended fruit. No sugar added like Jamba Juice. Straight up fruit. We had several each day.

Sorry no pictures for all this – I was too busy eating and drinking!

The other thing I keep meaning to mention is the toilets. If you are traveling in SE Asia, do yourself a favor and always bring toilet paper and hand wipes. I never leave our hotel without it and you’ll hate your life if you do.

You’ll notice that Asians sit like this:

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And it’s because they use these:

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And notice also – you can’t flush toilet paper because the sewer system can’t handle it and you can’t flush. Not the biggest deal once you get over it, but Westerners, just be prepared.

This is not specific to Cambodia and also not the reason why I love Siem Reap, just wanted to toss it out there.

And another random thing. If you read my Angkor Wat post, you might wonder why I made a big deal about my 6’4″ boyfriend fitting through a doorway. This is why. Jajaja.

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Tomb Raiding!

25 Sep

Yes, just like Angelina Jolie in that terrible movie – the boyfriend and I went tomb raiding in Angor Wat.

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Angkor Wat means “the city of temples.” The Khmer people began construction in the 12th century. I am not a history buff, so you can do some reading about the temples on your own if you are that interested. For me, it was just amazing that temples of such detail, with carvings and statues everywhere, could be made. The Khmer architecture is amazing. If you look now, you can also see a lot of the restoration that is taking place. Did I mention the Japanese are renting it? There are some issues with that.

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We only bought a one day pass ($20 each) but it allows you to watch the sunset and spend about two hours there the night before. Important transportation note – the tuk-tuks may try to overcharge you (the first guy tried charging us $50!!!!) but the sunset trip should only cost $4-5 and then your full day (which you need to clarify times with your driver) about $10-15 (we paid $12).

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The sunset day (very cloudy so not the greatest sunset of my life)

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The only doorway that Emilio fits through in SE Asia!

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It’s not as obvious in this pic, but these stairs were terrifying! It was ridiculously high and the steps are from the 12th century so they are uneven and let’s admit it, I am clumsy as hell. Emilio had to hold my purse some could keep my balance and I literally crawled up on all fours and then my patient boyfriend had to hold my hand the whole way down. He thought it was like no big deal, but these stairs took some courage for me!

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Crazy trees

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All in all, easily one of the most amazing sights we’ve ever seen. You should probably go.

And P.S. Doesn’t Emilio look like he works in the rice fields? Dating me is slowly turning him Chino!

Cambodian Cooking Class

23 Sep

My mascota learned how to cook Cambodian food! We decided to take a cooking class as part of my efforts to prepare for my second career!

The class was just dwn the street from our hotel and was $10 a person and we each got to cook a three course meal. It started off with a trip to the market, which is nothing like shopping at Henry’s for your imported produce….

Instead, it was local farmers bringing their goods like these:

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Fresh seafood

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Fresh chicken feet (and all their insides as well)

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And beautiful produce.

There was also a ton of spices, teas, and anything else you could need. We then returned to the restaurant and put on our chef hats!

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For my meal, I made spring rolls with peanut sauce (which does NOT use peanut butter unlike all the recipes I have ever used), Khmer curry with chicken, and some couscous banana dessert. Emilio had the same dessert but he made green mango salad and spicy vegetables with chicken.

I have all the recipes so maybe I will post those when I try to recreate a Cambodian meal at home!

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Spring rolls

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Green mango salad

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Spicy vegetables

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Khmer curry

All in all, a pretty fun experience. And nice to see the boyfriend in the kitchen for once!, now he can’t tell me he doesn’t know how to chop vegetables!

The only disappointing part was we had a ton of leftovers and forgot them in our fridge!

Tarantulas, oh my!

20 Sep

One of my grad school friends recommended that we try a restaurant in Phnom Penh called Romdeng. It is run by an organization that takes Cambodian street youth and gives the, vocational skills. I want a school like this at my work — teaching kids how to cook and run a restaurant. I was super inspired.

And yes, we tried tarantulas!

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Served with a lime-pepper sauce.

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Ahhh!!!

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It was trying to get out!

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Eating deep fried insects makes a couple stronger. 😉 So much so that…..

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