by woceht

Cycled around a bit and got to see the countryside today. Visited the fish sauce  market and tried some bamboo sticky rice, both specialties of this province. Got to talk to a few bright Cambodian kids too. Tha is understudying to take over the nascent bicycle co-op/tour company. And a couple more kids whose names I can’t spell were hanging around the bat cave at Phnom Sampeau trying to practice English with the foreigners who were waiting for the bats to come out. It was refreshing to be able to strike up a conversation without feeling like someone wanted something from me.  I also  discovered two good places to eat nearby on buffalo alley close to the White Rose restaurant which is a local landmark. Both are Chinese style noodle shops but one specializes in southern style and the other northern style handpulled noodles. The noodle broth was spectacular at the former and dumplings were great at the latter! Both places had printed menus so no haggling required. Noodle dishes were $1.50. Getting about 10 delicious dumplings for $1.50 is pretty awesome. There is a sizeable Chinese community in Battambang. I keep seeing Chinese foods and businesses and buildings but all of them seem to have greatly assimilated and it was hard to strike up a conversation even though I’m pretty sure they understood me. I think this is unusual for a Chinese diaspora and wonder if it has anything to do with the Khmer Rouge years. By all accounts sticking out in any way shape or form would have been a really bad idea.