Vignette 2: Restaurants.
New food is one of the joys of travel. After many years turning more and more squeamish about trying new meats, I decided to enjoy Cambodia's rather "daring" cuisine. My Cambodian friends seemed to find something new for me to try at every meal! And it was all delicious.
Usually one of them would introduce the more exotic dishes. One day he just told me we were eating deer meat, which I know and like. So I was happily tucking into the dish. The meat was accompanied by some lovely crunchy stuff - a bit like very crisp onion rings. When I was halfway through this delicious dish, my friend casually said: "Oh, and I forgot to tell you, that stuff with the deer meat is red ants." Wow. It tasted rather good, I must say, but I don't know that I would have tried it had I known what it was - known before I tried it, that is! Anyway, great food in Cambodia.
The restaurants were interesting too, everything from the roadside eateries to the huge, tourist-bus-oriented buffet restaurant with a cultural show. Lovely dances.
Equally interesting was the decor in this roadside eatery. A couple of different styles, to say the least. Don't miss the giant mushrooms in the corner. Globalization or clash of cultures? Hmm.