Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Cambodia.

Friday, Nov 28: Back to Phnom Penh!

Posted in Cambodia on November 28, 2014

Back in the van for a long and bumpy ride back to Phnom Penh where it all began! By the time we arrived in the city it was just around noon and traffic was bustling. Full size vehicles are few and far between and it seems difficult to share the road with all the smaller tuk-tuks and motos whizzing all around creating ‘lanes’ wherever there is an opportunity.

Once we settled into our hotel at ‘The Eureka Villas’ we headed out to grab a bite to eat at ‘Romdeng’, which is a sister restaurant to ‘Friends’ where we had eaten before departing Phnom Penh two weeks ago. Although the two restaurants feature some similar dishes, ‘Romdeng’ has some items that appeal to a more adventurous clientele. The first item arrived at our table on a white plate with an over turned bowl on top, although we knew what was underneath it didn’t do much to reduce the shock value when we lifted up the bowl to reveal a live tarantula! No, we aren’t going to eat a live one, we aren’t that brave; but like they always say ANYTHING is better deep-fried, we hope that includes tarantula as well! I was brave enough to play with the live tarantula and I let it crawl on my hands and arms. Scott made an attempt at holding the giant spider but that didn’t go so well, and no one else wanted a closer look at the little de-fanged, fuzzy beauty.

Our buffet of fried insects and oddities came rolling out next, which included the famous fried tarantula, crickets, silk worms, and whole frogs. We all took our turn trying a leg of this and a bit of that and we actually ended up ordering another plate of the tarantula which some of us actually REALLY enjoyed!

We all ordered a main dish as well since we weren’t really keen on filling up on grubs; however, Scott and I, who both studied biology in university, continued on our culinary journey of creepy crawly things and ordered a Khmer dish of lemongrass beef with ants that also turned out to be quite good!

After lunch we split up as people went off to explore different corners of Phnom Penh and to book busses or flights for the next leg of the journey. We ended up reconvening for a final meal later on at night and went to the local performing arts to watch a live production.

Over the next couple of days, we would part ways. Todd and Sandra are heading on to Siem Reap via Battambang, by land and then by boat, and Cathy is flying directly to Siem Reap. Scott and I will be kicking around Phnom Penh for a few more days to explore and relax before heading on a leisurely tour of SE Asia for the next couple of months. We managed to complete the work we had set out to do and we have definitely walked away having shared smiles and laughter with new friends from Cambodia and back home, all in all I think we can call it a DWC success!

Sarah Armstrong
DWC Team Leader
Cambodia, November 2014

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