Anyway this week has started off and still feels like a normal week, I swear I just can't get use to the idea that it will be Christmas Day this Saturday. I think this is due to a number of factors:
1. No Christmas ad's or television programs
2. It is still bright till 6pm and nice and warm
4. There just isn't all that Christmas stuff you get at home
5. Rather than winding down at work we are winding up before the end of year closes.
Anyway I am not complaining, the lack of commercial Christmas is refreshing. One thing that I have felt this week for the first time in a while is that I am missing my dad which is a strange sensation after so long and I have found myself thinking about that this week and hope that I am keeping his memory alive in some small way.
Now back to the purpose of this blog. I skipped breakfast this morning and at lunch went to the local hang bai (rice shop) and had pork with vegetables and rice that's not so different from what you'd get at home except that the veg is in big chuck as is the garlic and there are whole chillis. That said pork, veg and rice is normal enough food and is something I think most westerns would not have an issue with.
It was this evening after a long day at work and chilling out on the balcony for a while that I became a tad hungry and due to my now reduced budget in the run up to Christmas decided I would 'go fully native'in terms of food. I went to a restaurant on ST 63 called the Boat Noodle about 5 min from my apartment. I had been there before but had very safe dish. This time I skipped straight to the Khmer part of the menu.
This include various types of fish dishes such as sour fish soup, fish heads, fish and different meats etc. After thinking about it for a while I decide to go with something that was described as follows:
minced pork, minced salty sour fish and egg fried with vegetables. Well what came out was kinda of like a omelet with the pork and fish mixed together and what I think was green banana, and some other stuff I didn't recognize.
It was very interesting, I was tucking in happily and just as the fork came to my month I got that strange fishy smell. They say that the smell of food has a huge impact on the taste and they were right. The texture and actually taste was very different to that, that my olfactory senses had prepared me for. I has a bit of gag reflex my continued to eat and actually found it very good. Then when of the staff came over and explained that there was a way to eat it that one did not just shovel the food it your gob oh no it was far more complicated than that. He explained that I would enjoy the dish allot more by dipping the omelet in a sauce and taking certain veg with it for different flavors.
Well after a quick lesson in what to do, I was off to the races and have to say that it was a pretty good dish if very different from anything I have every had before. At times I think my poor old stomach thought it was back in college competing in a Iron-stomach. However that would do a huge dis-service to this real Khmer dish which was very filling and didn't break the bank at only $2. So I think from now on I'll be going truly native at least once every couple of weeks.
Although I'd murder a roast dinner and big-fry for Christmas so you haven;t lost me just yet.