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Thursday, 23 June 2011

Mieke Buchan's Trip To Cambodia

Post by: Mieke Buchan 23 June, 2011 - 10:45 AM
Mieke Buchan in Cambodia

(Photo: Mieke Buchan)

Today I ventured into the floating villages of Tonle Sap, where I was able to bring food and school books to the river children of the floating school. Quite an overwhelming experience.

As I handed out the packets of noodles and books, I was literally overrun by the gorgeously enthusiastic local tikes.

Being an all-round adventure girl, I have been sampling the full range of local delicacies in the tradition of Khmer cuisine.

Turns out I do like frog (it’s like really lean chicken, I promise) but am not so hot on barbecued grasshopper. How many legs do those things have?!

I keep pulling little bristly bits of feet out of my teeth and I’ve brushed them twice already!

I passed up the kind offer of grilled spider - another local favourite.

Tomorrow, snake is on the menu. Apparently I also have to try the snake vodka, which is kinda like tequila with the worm but the worm is quite a bit more menacing.

I was extremely moved today. A local I've befriended took me to the killing field near Siem Reap from a grizzly era in Cambodian history.

His father was a Buddhist, and was killed for his faith, during the reign of Pol Pot in the late 70s.

I was doing my best not to dissolve into tears when he walked me around the shrine of bones and skulls of those who'd been killed there.

My new friend, Alee, was so stoic and patient as I composed myself. I was quite shaken.

The Cambodians also seem to believe that if they tell you that you look like Angelina Jolie, it will help you part with your money. They are right.

I’m also aware that they say this to anyone not born in Asia, but I don’t care one bit!


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