Noi6 means "the 6 of us" in Romanian.

We are five, you are the sixth one.

We thank you for joining us in our trip around the world...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Write Your World (amino): Khmer Food

Write Your World (amino): Khmer Food:

The most touristic street in Siem Reap, Cambodia, is Pub Street.

While I guess that is an apt description, I wouldn't exactly call it riddled with pubs. There are fish massages (Dr. Fish— NO PIRANHAS!), massage parlors (for feet, hands, bodies), beers, tennis games on huge screens which everyone watches as they eat.

Prices vary widely. We first ate at a restaurant whose name I don't think we'll ever remember. It faces a tourism agency that also offers a fish massage (cheapest on the block— one dollar for an unlimited time in the water). Signs advertise Khmer food.

Everyone on Pub Street wants you to come to their restaurant. They hold up laminated menus. The first night, after walking up and down and up and down and up and down, we stopped at that first restaurant. It advertises Khmer food, and has red plastic chairs with green and white checkered table-clothes.

The waittresses smile widely, waiting for us to order.

For the next four times we come here, I will be ordering the same thing: Fried Cashew Rice with Pork. It has cashew nuts in it, but otherwise is exactly the same as any other fried rice. I don't think I've ever liked fried rice much, but this was good.

The shakes are $0.75, and we order almost everything on the menu. The lemon shakes are delicious. A Dragon Shake uses something called a dragon fruit, which is bright pink on the outside, but white with black dots on the inside. I think. I've never seen it named, but I've guessed.

When we show up a second time, we get wide smiles and big waves.

The third time, we're hustled to one of the five tables, next to the counter. There is a long counter, you see, running at the 'back' of all of these restaurants. Behind the counter, there is a shake-making machine, a stove top in which the cooks (and waitresses— there seem to be no actual designation for each person) make the food. Delivery men come up and plonk things down on the counter. We get bright smiles whenever we show up. Other return guests— finding that this is the best restaurant, I suppose— are greeted with smiles just as wide.

When we first arrived, an old man showed up with a shopping bag and three ice cream cones, which he handed out to each girl. "Today's my last day." He said, "I brought you some ice cream."

As she took our order, Ali, who seems to be the main waitress, plonked the ice cream cone face down on the table. When we went there today, she hugged Ileana 'hello.' It felt like this very big family.

(It's not restricted to just there, by the way

When we told Ali we were leaving, she reached over the counter (she'd hopped over to help with the cooking), shook our hands, hugged us, and told us we were beautiful and to come again.

I mean, what's a better way to spend your last meal in Cambodia?

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