The starting point for the planning of most trips is the food. What’s special about their foodways? I don’t know if I made it clear to you but during my trip to Cambodia, I was staying with two Americans and simply adopted their routine- which didn’t seem to include much cuisine representative of Khmer cuisine. They were content to eat nearly the same thing everyday! And in fact, dinner was the same everyday: rice (a staple) and steak with a communal dish of carrots and cucumbers dipped in a mix of salt, pepper, and lime juice (for maybe $2-$5). On my last day eating there, we saw one of our Khmer friends, Leakhena. Her spread included tomato, onions, and other vegetables. Turns out the only reason we were only getting cucumbers and carrots is because that’s all these two Americans ate!
This is no expression of ingratitude but rather a playful build up of gratitude for Leakhena who had us over for lunch. She was so glad to have us! Her gracious menu included the “Best Fried Chicken in Poipet”, lightly fried rice, vegetable stir fry and some cut pineapple and watermelon. Yum! As for that chicken, I didn’t name it but it was tasty. It reminded me of the fried chicken we would have catered from the Chinese restaurant for every event at home in Brooklyn with sliced scallions scattered on top. Leakhena’s chicken was flavored well, maybe with soy sauce. (I should have asked.)
We spoke about the future of Poipet Christian Fellowship and LifeBridge in Cambodia and how to continue building the Cambodian community. We filled our bellies. And then it was back on to the back of the “moto”.
Next I’ll tell you about a meal at a place with an awesome mission using a restaurant to do it.