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Khmer-style dinner in Phnom Penh

by Sanne
Khmer-style dinner - Life in Phnom Penh

In Phnom Penh I am staying with Kanary from CWSG and her family, including The Grandma, who will always let me know if I have put on weight. She is the sweetest old lady, and she is spoiling me with fresh fruit and delicious food. I do not speak Khmer and she does not speak English, but none of us care, so you will often find us having long conversations without understanding a word of what the other person says.

Kanary and I have this internal joke that started right after I came to Phnom Penh for the first time. Back then, Kanary always greeted me with a “Hi Sanne, relax and take a shower” when I came back after a day around the city. It is not very common in Denmark that you tell people to take a shower, so I asked Kanary if it was because I smelled bad? She laughed and said that she just thought a shower would be a nice way to relax, but nowadays, when we meet she always greets me with “Hi Sanne, go take a shower!”.

Yesterday went with meetings, and we did not finish until 9:30 in the evening, so Kanary asked me to join for dinner. In this house, it is The Grandma who does the cooking, and yesterday she had made her famous Chinese soup along with fried fish and noodles. The Grandma’s Chinese soup has everything in it including a couple of unidentified ingredients and a bean that definitely did not look like a bean, if you ask me 🙂

For a long time, Kanary has wanted me to try num ansom, which is a traditional Khmer Sticky Rice Cake made with a filling of either banana or pork. It is a cake you usually eat at celebrations and during holidays, but Kanary had a couple of slices left from a cake that her mother in law hade made her. I have cut together a short video from yesterday’s dinner. I think we sound a little giddy, but that is the way it is when you have been working non-stop for 12 hours.

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