As I explained on the blog and in the Don Deht photo album, ‘happy’ on any menu in Southeast Asia means that the food or drink item in question is served with an added kick: marijuana. More background: There is a pretty well-known place in the touristy part of Phnom Penh called Happy Pizza—and, in fact, there is another one right next door called Happy Phnom Penh Pizza, I believe. So this place, Ecstatic Pizza, which is right in the neighborhood in which I live, Boeung Keng Kang, clearly felt it had to do one better. Really, though, they probably were just seeking something similar so that people might confuse them with the original. (Think Ray’s Famous Original Pizza. Or Duvacell in Central America. Or the three restaurants called Boat Noodle(s) also right in my neighborhood, all within just a few blocks of each other.) I personally just like to think someone either used an English thesaurus or asked an English speaker (perhaps native, perhaps not) what another word for happy
in this case, i'm pretty sure 'happy' is unrelated to my previous description of 'happy' food and drink. my theory about happy internet service, which is right across the main road from my house, is that the staff that work there are happy because it is never open. and i mean never. i've not once seen it without the metal gate shut. then again, perhaps they are so happy because they are consuming happy pizza and happy shakes all the time. that would certainly make you too high to come to work. ps ecstatic pizza (also in this album) is almost right across the street. hmmm. time to rethink my theories...
Yes, not only is there a store called 'posh edition' in Phnom Penh, apparently my housemate even shops there. And why not? She is quite posh, after all. Unlike me. I live in the maid's quarters, after all...
on the menu here- independence monument, chicken porridge, shake
i needed some work-appropriate (or at least acceptable) clothing, but since i can't really afford the nice shops (like posh edition!) where the foreigners who actually have an income (and those who do have good ones, i assure you) shop, i headed to o'russey market, which is where the locals shop for everything. i really dislike shopping anyway, but the fact that the clothes i had to choose from fell into one of two categories, hideous and slightly less hideous, made this particular shopping expedition that much worse. at least i got a few good t-shirt photos out of it.
in case you can't read the fine print, it's 'I'm really know how to make your happy.' i'll clap for that!
ok, i know this is really awful, but...i ended up buying this t-shirt. not because it's a 'skinny' t-shirt that has this under-layer that squeezes your fat in (fun!). as i'm sure you can imagine i'm pretty damn horrified by the concept, which is my only reason for taking a the photo of the tag. but, yes, i have to be honest that i did buy it. but i did so only because it was the only decent-looking (as in non-hideous) shirt with sleeves that actually fit me. my plan is to cut the lining out, but i need a pair of scissors bigger and better than the ones on my swiss army knife!
you'd almost think this monk was posing for me, given that he appears to be doing the ubiquitous asian two-finger picture pose.
monks with lunch
all in all, a monk morning.
pretty sure this is on the front gate of a private residence. i mean, it couldn't be a restaurant, office or other place of business... i'm sure the family that lives there thinks it's funny. and if their kids are old enough, they are utterly embarrassed by it.
two things you will always see in cambodia: hammocks and molded plastic chairs (these exact ones, pretty much)
ice grinding at bkk market. step one: saw off desired block of ice.
step two: push into ice-grinding machine. (hmmm...considering those ice blocks are the one used to keep things cold and not, presumably, made with filtered water like the ice that gets served in your drink, perhaps drinking shakes and such at the market is not a good idea after all.)
southeast asia: where the feather dusters are made of actual feathers. and sold on the street from bicycles or pushcarts.
and the gasoline is sold from bottles, often pepsi, at the side of the road.
is that actual water being sold in those bottles next to the petrol pepsi and coke? i wouldn't chance it.
noticed an interesting umbrella stand in front of a restaurant.
this is the sign to my gym, where i often spend about two hours a day. since i don't have a full-time job and don't really know many people, i may as well start trying to work off those huge-plate-of-rice-with-every-meal love handles i've developed.
i'm disappointed you can't really tell this from the photo, but i swear to you, these are the world's largest mangoes! the guys selling them at the side of the road, of course, thought i was absolutely nuts to want to take a photo of them.
recycling man. these men and women walk through the streets every day blowing a little horn (the one i actually saw turned out to be an empty bottle of dishwashing liquid with a little horn inside--so you just squeeze the bottle) and people come out of their houses with their recycling. similar to 'bring out your dead,' but...better.
and his counterpart: recycling lady
pig roasting on the street. when i first saw this i found it a bit weird (not to mention off-putting). now i'm totally used to it.
the competition. this roasting pig is just one block down from the other one. which is how i understood why a pig would be roasting out on the sidewalk. the sidewalk is in front of a restaurant. advertising!
i knew you were hoping to get a better look at that pig.
restaurant laundry. the tablecloths inside make sense. the clothes outside...?
now here is a great example of branding. vina acecook offers: 'Good...'
and 'Oh! Ricey!'
food vendor on bicycle cart. yes, he's a child. maybe he goes to school in the afternoon (it's only four hours a day here, so you do either morning of afternoon.). maybe.
yet another cement-strong animal brand for the famed portland cement
(pregnant) phonecard vendor. when i first got to cambodia and saw little booths with numbers all over them i hadn't the slightest clue what they could be. only when i went to buy a sim card did i begin to learn the confusing cell phone system, in which different number prefixes are controlled by different companies. so the numbers you see are the cards for which they sell top-ups. if your friend has a number that is not in your network, you will be charged twice as much to call and text. oh, and the prefixes all have different levels of 'popularity' and the sim cards are priced accordingly.
and some green naga down the street
laundry *and* rice drying: a two-fer!
across the street from my office. this guy is wearing a krama, an all-purpose scarf (the pattern of which you might recognize from old photos of the khmer rouge...). he's using his as a towel (yes, it's normal to be outside after bathing just wearing your towel. for men, anyway.). in fact, my towel is a krama is as well. and mutlicolored. you see different ones, but the red and white check is the traditional one--though it varies from region to region.
laundrey across from my office
'ah!' i thought when i saw this, 'a classier version of the other cement-tire umbrella holder.' clearly that other one was modeled on this, which *might* not even be homemade.
fried crap with curry, anyone? it's actually quite expensive by cambodian standards!
yes, this is a pile of flower petals and leaves being set on fire in front of someone's house (the man who was doing it let me take the photo, in fact). these must have been the sweepings from his front courtyard. the flowers and leaves in my front courtyard get swept up each day too (but not by me or my housemates. all foreigners in cambodia have 'help.' it seems to be required.), but as far as i know we don't burn them. they go to some huge trashpile somewhere and *then* they get burned. the worst part about this for me personally, is that as i was crouching down in the street snapping this photo, a tuk-tuk full of girls from my class, which had just ended down the block, drove by and they were calling, 'teacher! goodbye, teacher!' all i could think was, 'great, now they *really* think i am a fucking crazy white lady.'
yet another gift from the lizard. smack in the middle of my laptop case. what is it trying to tell me? by the way, while i see lizards sometimes elsewhere in the house, i've literally only ever seen one in my room, and that was very recently. clearly the depositers of the poo only come out when i'm not home. they needn't worry, though. depsite the poo--and unlike every other living thing i find in my room aside from me these days--i will not kill them.
gotta love it.
the park cafe: inspiration for your mind. (the closest i think it comes is that it offers free wifi.)
hello, american school! (i know it looks like a garbage dump and/or scrap metal shop below, but...)
they have their own van, featuring a bit of stars n' stripes here n' there.
hello, american kindergarten!
ABC Driving School. Is it me or does their logo look like Colonel Sanders in blackface?
this sleeping motodup driver prefers the comfort of his own hammock to the comfort of his motorbike seat. and who could blame him? (re the shirt: it's fucking hot here!)
I have often found it odd that the British sometimes don't seem to distinguish between cookies and crackers. I ate some chocolate crackers the other night. They weren't labeled like these were, so I can't be sure what they were actually called, but they were definitely more cracker-like than cookie-like. And yet they were chocolate. In all fairness, I should confess that the item in question was, in fact, Malaysian, not British, but come on. Who do you thing they got it from? Also, lemon cream on your crackers? Again, I must confess, I ate this very packet and didn't mind the taste at all. All this bikkies were around my house ('were' until I started eating them, obviously) as part of a gift basket given to us by the landlord for Khmer New Year. Which was very sweet. (No pun intended.)
i can see the ad now: 'honey, you promised me a romantic vacation...'
really not sure what this is, but it's in a tree outside a restaurant with decorative lights, so...decorative lanterns made out of cigarette boxes?
all is quiet on new year's day. at least in the parking lot of boueng keng kang market. it might not look like a parking lot to you, but every other morning this space is completely filled with motorbikes.
garbage, boeung keng kang market. the dying flowers might or might not have been someone's new year's offerings to buddha.
more garbage, closed market
then i turned a corner and found that, although the market structure itself was indeed closed, the food vendors that line the side street next to it were there. which i found really surprising, since i'd heard basically everything shuts down for khmer new year (which is three days long). here's some nice meat on display.
woman with hanging meat, beoung keng kang market (outside), khmer new year's day 2009
i set out this morning to take a photo of the mormon church but it wasn't where i thought it was. but, i did get...*actual mormons!* some major proselytizing work going on in southeast asia. look for my upcoming blog post about it.
saw this and thought 'baby motor bike!' then i went to saigon a day later, and my friends there told me they just got a honda chaly...which i realized i had just taken a random photo of in phnom penh. they're alll excited about it, and getting it 'pimped out.'
MORE pajama girls. oh lucky day! (though i imagine by now you are thinking, 'seen one pajama girl, seen 'em all.')
two white horses and a crocodile... (or does two bags make it four white horses...in which case, who wins crocodile v. horses?)
world food programme bothers printing its logo on their satellite dish. wtf?
most modern building i've seen in phnom penh. it says 'care' but i'm not clear if it's care international, the ngo...
these are the new year's offerings to buddha outside my gym. (you can see the protein powder in the window just above the potted palms...)
garbage outside bkk market; better view on the way home.
i've seen tons of fish (and meat and rice) drying out on the street--with the accompanying flies, as you can imagine. but this is the first time i've seen one of these. genius!
new cement brand! now we've moved into mythical creatures...