Breakfast Pork & Rice

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALiving in Asia definitely takes some getting used to and for some, its not as easy to get used to certain aspects such as street pissing, sugary bread, offal in soup. Breakfast is probably the hardest meal to adapt to, with many people struggling to down a plate of fried rice or noodle soup first thing in the morning. In the west our breakfasts usually consist of bread, fruit, eggs, cereal and on weekends a special brunch with all the trimmings such as bacon, bernaise sauce and chorizo thrown in.

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Christmas In Phnom Penh

Spending Christmas in an Asian country like Cambodia has its perks and its downfalls. For one, you escape months of the hype that the shops, media, tv and every friend or acquaintance you have is spreading thickly about Christmas. Early shopping, late shopping, food shopping, everything shopping! Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of shopping, but the months of hype is enough to turn you spare. On the flipside, spending it here you forget that its coming up and usually at the last minute you decide that you probably should do something for it – have lunch, dinner…have a tree? tinsel?

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas cheer that is going around in Phnom Penh – from the giant inflatable santa that has been up outside our local convenience store for a month, to the giant snow-dome outside an apartment block to the Tiger Beer Christmas tree that is up in the local supermarket. Some places have gone all out for it despite the fact that its not a celebrated holiday here and everyone will be working as usual.

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One Day in Singapore

Mick and I recently headed back to Australia to visit friends and family, but more importantly to be part of the wedding celebrations for my sister (Yay! Pip! Yay Danny!). We had a really great time back in Australia, seeing friends, eating delicious lamb, napping in comfy beds, hanging out with Mum’s, spending time at the casino (aka. bowling club), driving in a car, drinking cider and many other things. The wedding was really lovely and romantic, not too many dramas (lets not include the busted floor in the lodge in this email) and great food.  Here’s to Pip and Danny having a long and loving marriage <3 /clinks glasses

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Squat Toilets and Bum Guns

toilet

Backpackers, tourists and travellers share some pretty funny stories when they meet. They will brag about the crazy adventure in Malaysia with some weirdo guys who plied them with free booze (wink) or the trip down the mountain in a ute through torrential rain with a drunk driver and two friends getting drunk in the back tray (double-wink) or that time they clambered over a landslide in Laos through a small village and then picked up a local bus that screamed around the mountain corners in the dark  to Vang Vieng (triple-wink). But the most common stories seem to be those that involve toilets, bowel movements or vomit….why is that? Is it that we can share those experience and realise its not just us struggling with something? Or is it that we just love to out-gross each other?! I’d say the latter….we really are just kids when it comes down to it.

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Long Weekend Jaunt in Vietnam

Long weekends are something Cambodian’s get to celebrate quite often. There are days off for any number of religious, political or social reasons, and as an expat here it can be a great opportunity to go visit neighbouring countries like Vietnam or Thailand without using your annual leave. For one particular long weekend here, Pchum Ben, Mick and I decided to take advantage of the 5 days off and make our way to Vietnam where we would indulge in any number of tasty foods and hang out with some friends who were going to be there. Awesome!

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Recipe: Burger Salads

A good burger is hard to beat. Sometimes you just want to get your mouth around some grilled meat with beetroot, tomato and lettuce and feel that yummy comfort. But Mick and I don’t eat bread so we make our own versions – burger salads! Just as delicious but eaten with a knife and fork instead of with our hands.

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Ten Things

Its been 6 months since Mick and I first moved to Cambodia and started working here and what a fun adventure it has been. There’s been torrential rain, protests, armed police wandering the streets, amazing food, kittens, exploring, bike rides, visitors and more. We have had challenges in our jobs, and achievements too. There’s been many fun nights with our friends, long lunches, lazy Sundays and travel planned. I could detail each and every one of these things, but I thought I would list 10 things that I am loving, and hating, about Cambodia.

Do you have any others that you might add to this list? There sure is plenty more that I would!

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Review: Comme a la Masion

Mick and I generally don’t eat much Western food when we go out, much to the dismay of our friends. I find that the options for asian food are much more interesting and exciting, not to mention cheaper. And knowing how to cook Western food probably adds to that disinterest when we eat out. A lot of the “barang” restaurants here serve up food that Mick and I don’t eat either – burgers, pizza & pasta – and often its a letdown. I think in Australia we are spoilt for reasonably priced pub fare that sets you up for disappointment in other places. Shakespeare’s Hotel in Surry Hills, for example, has big generous servings of salads, grilled meats, lamb shanks and schnitzels for $12.50. You can eat a steak for $10 at some places on given nights, and you are usually rewarded with a delicious meal. Sometimes the places here serve up chewy steaks, limp salads and weird combinations of dishes.

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Post-Election Protests

_68992582_68992581This last week has been a controversial and unstable one for Phnom Penh. A three day demonstration organised by the CNRP plus increased police and military presence in the capital city culminated in one man dying, many injured and emergency discussions between the opposition leader (Sam Rainsey), the prime minister (Hun Sen) and the King to come to a peaceful agreement.

This blog post  summarises really well what went on easier than I could so check it out for more info on what went down and was reported via social media, noting that mainstream media is controlled by the government so there was a distinct lack of information circulated using that method.

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Recipe: Stove-Top Rice Flour Pizza

I recently posted this on our friend, Jimmy (from Jimmy Eats World) blog to help enlighten his peeps to the challenges of cooking in Asia, and the awesome food adventures you can have.  Stove-top, rice flour pizza is amazing…but what do you think??

Cooking dinner at home here in Phnom Penh is limited to what can be cooked on the stove top. On high. Slow cooking, low cooking, oven cooking is possible with some alterations to the stove as the gas stove we cook on is pretty basic and we don’t have an oven. Some people are horrified or feel terrible for us living under such primative conditions but the reality of it is – who really wants to cook with an oven when the ambient temperature is 30 degrees?! Not me.

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