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Reisverslag Percieving PP: Why a Mango isn't a Mango
1 september 2014
Percieving PP: Why a Mango isn't a Mango
Drinks and desert should not go unmentioned. Think coffee, fesh juices, and home carrotcake, brownies and applepie.
I just finished my second Khmai lesson and somehow it drains me, both physically and mentally. Sokha, my private teacher, waves at me as he's about to leave.
"Chum reap-leah!", He says, bidding me farewell.
Tired as I am, I recognize the trap he's set for me.
"Ba, Okun", I say to him. "Yes, thanks".
He winks at me and says " La-or Na!" (very good!)
In Cambodia, only the person leaving a particular space says goodbye. You don't good-bye eachother the way we do.
I smile and decide it's ready for a treat. The choices on the menu daze me time and time again, even though I'm always leaning towards the same choice.
Again, I can't decide. So I order a mango smoothie and decide to postpone the choice of food for later. no rush, i'm free for the rest of the day.
I grab my book and start reading in Murakami's "IQ84", It's a gripping literary fantasy in which the main characters are stuck in a world with two moons. A world that looks exactly the same on first view, but as perspective changes through context, the characters painfully find how different it actually is for them.
The moment I take a sip from my mango smoothie, that piece fits exactly into the puzzle. As the sweet taste of fresh mango spreads around my mouth, I'm instantly taken back to the first sticky rice-mango I chomped down without thinking when I stressfully entered Bankok Airport 3 weeks ago. I can't remember that it tasted this good..
Then I realise, the Phnom Penh I'm seeing now is incomparible to the PP I saw two years ago to me, as well. It's the same city, I'm just looking at it with a completely different set of eyes.
In 2012, for example, I felt completely at home at Mad Monkley's, the hostel I was staying at back then. I couldn't get enough of the typical backpacking life; beerpong, bar-hopping, and hysterical mid-night conversation with my new found buddies.
Now, I noticed I got flat out annoyed after I got woken up by my drunk roommates, barging into the room in the middle of the night. I checked into a private room after two days and after two days in that room, I decided I needed a place of my own, fast. One call and two small hours of appartment-checking on the back of a motobike later, I found my palace.
And escaping the backpackers "scene" immediatly felt like a relief.
The same thing applies to traffic in Phnom Penh.
Let's get one thing straight, The infrastructure still looks like shit, and the traffic is still crazy. It's basically like a morbidly obese persons' circulatory system: cracked, chunked and filled with garbage and a lot of hold-ups.
But now that I am actually participating in it (note here: on a bicycle), I see that there's a sort of 'rythm' to it. Now that I'm starting to feel it, I notice that it's áctually a lot like the way my brain works: impulses constantly flowing from all sides, and the most dominant element goes first. Simple enough, right?
-Which doesn't take away from the fact that Cambodia's number one cause of death is still injury to the head-, and not from Khmer Boxing.
Seeing people on the side of the road with an almost surreal ammount of blood around their lifeless bodies, sadly, is not uncommon.
I know I be making a weird bridge right now, but another of those completely-different-experiences from back then, is what i'm eating.
Travelling on a budget, the quality of my meals normally wouldn't reach much further than that 1$ papier plate of noodles-with-a-taste from a local hakwer. Going to KFC's would be considered a treat.
Now, i'm eating at restaurants serving pistachio-coated tuna sashimi accompanied with freshly baked bread and hummus whenever I feel like it.
I drink kombucha tea, fresh ginger-apple juice and an occasional whiskey sour while I watch live saxophonists work their magic.
Yeah i'm starting to find the spots around here.
more on that next time.
I kick back and close my book to focus on the taste of my mango smoothie. Yep. Definitely, much, much sweeter.
Guess a mango isn't a mango.
6 september 2014 16:00 | Door: karin
Is weer een leuk stukje om te lezen en fijn om te weten dat ik straks heeeeeel lekker kan eten.
Tot gauw Karin, groetjes van Peter