Thursday, August 31, 2017

oNe PhOtO a DaY AuGuST 2017

My month of trying to use the alphabetic and numeric prompts to showcase our local environment and Cambodia in general. As a new arrival this may be a little ambitious but here is my attempt.


TUESDAY 1st STARTS WITH A: For my month of showcasing Cambodia, you can't go past Angkor Wat. Cambodia’s prime attraction starts with A


THURSDAY 3rd STARTS WITH C: Kep's attractions focus on crabs- the giant crab in the bay, the crab market and ...... well, eating crabs by the seaside of course. Crab starts with C

FRIDAY 4th STARTS WITH D: Cambodia is endowed with a huge diversity of tropical fruit including durian but my choice is dragon fruit. This purchase for PAD in the market this morning cost less than 50c and was a great addition to our lunch

SATURDAY 5th STARTS WITH E: It would have to be elephant. This is a statue at one of the intersections on the main road in Kep. There is actually an abundance of statues along the road and it makes navigating and giving directions so much easier

SUNDAY 6th STARTS WITH F: Fishing boats full of fishermen on the water in Kep. Fish play a huge role in the local economy and diet and these boats are always visible in the bay

MONDAY 7th STARTS WITH G: Having just returned from the local market starts with "G" just has to be garden fresh greens. Over half our haul today was fresh greens including limes, kale, spring onions, knife blade coriander and broccoli

TUESDAY 8th STARTS WITH H: The houses of Kep; some beautifully restored, some dilapidated and in ruins, some concrete, practical designs for families, some holding on to former grandeur, some modern interpretations of traditional residences, some opulent and comfortable and one simple unique bamboo home in the paddies

WEDNESDAY 9th STARTS WITH I: In Cambodia a lot of vendors and households still rely on ice, not refrigerators, on a regular basis. The blocks of ice are sawed into the required size at point of sale. Dripping motorcycle-powered delivery carts ply a busy trade at all times of the day

THURSDAY 10th STARTS WITH J: Organic and unrefined palm sugar is also known as jaggery, which happens to start with J. It is painstakingly produced all over Cambodia's rural regions. Due to this prompt today I have now purchased these two styles- one syrupy and one powdered. The most common block style wasn't available locally. I'm now on the look out for recipes to use them in

FRIDAY 11th STARTS WITH K: For many places K is a difficult prompt but here in Cambodia the Khmer language, living in Kep and visiting Kampot easily come to mind but it is the ubiquitous Kramer that is the obvious choice. Locally made, often by women's cooperatives or empowerment to eradicate poverty initiatives these "scarves" are irresistible and so much more than a scarf. If you are interested in their many uses please read the link below which I wrote while travelling in Cambodia in 2013

SATURDAY 12th STARTS WITH L: The local limes in Kep are the best I've ever tasted. They are large, bright green and juicy: absolutely perfect for our digestive lime juice and water every morning and well this is the tropics so the evening tipple of GnT's wouldn't be kosher without a couple of slices and a squirt of juice

SUNDAY 13th STARTS WITH M: Orange clad monk is the obvious choice for the letter M

MONDAY 14th STATTS WITH N: The N prompt brings to mind another of the statues, which line the roads and especially the coastal strip in Kep. Another of our navigational landmarks the nymph; a nature goddess usually depicted as a beautiful maiden. She sits playing a lyre on the shorefront. I'm not sure what the Khmer Buddhists would call her but to me she is the nymph

TUESDAY 15th STARTS WITH O: The ocean. My go to place for calm and quiet and here especially on weekdays. Sometimes we just ride to the beach and stare at the ocean. This is Kep Bay looking out towards Rabbit Island with a backdrop of the Kep National Park. We see it almost daily but it is crowded and chaotic beyond belief on weekends

WEDNESDAY 16th STARTS WITH P: In this beachside location nothing adds to the glamor and resort feel more than palms. A coastline dotted with palms and summer, vacation and relax come immediately to mind. It is wet season so there is not much blue sky but coconut palms on the foreshore are very Kep

THURSDAY 17th STARTS WITH Q: Quintessential Cambodia from my perspective- the serenity of the monks, the lush tropical flowers made as offerings, the details in the temples of Angkor Wat and sunsets silhouetting palms over the Mekong River. Cambodia to a tee or in this case Q

FRIDAY 18th STARTS WITH R: Neighbouring Thailand calls them tuk tuks but the trailer pulled by a moto (as they call motorcycles here) is commonly known as a remork or remorque. They are everywhere and are popular with locals and tourists alike, to transport both themselves and goods. Whether it is a local run or farther afield. Although more expensive than the bus for a longer run, it is a pleasant well-ventilated and slower ride

SATURDAY 19th STARTS WITH S: Both Kampot and Kep are famous for their salt and pepper production. Opportunities to see the plantations abound but so far we have merely sampled the products and can highly recommend them. Kampot is perhaps more internationally renown and this is our current supply but we will surely try the local product next

Second choice would have to be Spirit House but I posted the one in our yard last month… I really do love them and so this is another shot of ‘our’ spirit house

SUNDAY 20th STARTS WITH T: Transplanting rice seedlings. Surrounded as we are with rice paddies, it's impossible not to notice the enormous amount of backbreaking work, which goes into this staple of Asia. It inspires us to appreciate all that we eat just a little bit more

MONDAY 21st STARTS WITH U: Ungulates are mammals with hooves and these beasts certainly qualify. We see them daily in fields and along the verges of the roads. We are not sure if they are a breed of cow or ox or something completely different but local farmers pride themselves in owning them as a form of wealth. They are never milked and seem to rarely be put to work but more commonly pampered and hand fed

TUESDAY 22nd STARTS WITH V: Today's visit to Sala (school) Monkey revealed a vibrant and viable learning environment and we hope there maybe scope for us in some capacity as volunteers in the future

WEDNESDAY 23rd STARTS WITH W: Wat is the Khmer equivalent to Buddhist temple. (just like Thai) This particular wat is just a few kilometres from our home and is called Wat Mony Ratanak Keo Krousang we just discovered. Not the best shot going, as after cycling there specifically in response to this prompt, we fled in a hurry having spotted a huge snake shedding its skin on the forecourt of the temple

THURSDAY 24th STARTS WITH X: Actually X marks the spot where the Kep Gardens Association, established by fellow Adelaidians, runs an educational centre offering English language development, technical trade skills, life skills, community support, agricultural skills, sponsorship for further education and so much more. We visited today to offer our services as volunteers and we were warmly welcomed and instantly felt a connection. Hoping to contribute to the individual reading programme in the near future

FRIDAY 25th STARTS WITH Y: Youth are the future of any nation and this talented group of young people showcased their talents, leadership skills and determination in the Kep Gardens Association Annual Concert last night. The balance between maintaining traditions and youthful exuberance for modernity was apparent. We left feeling optimistic about the future knowing young people like these are rising to the challenges their lives present with the assistance and guidance they receive

SATURDAY 26th STARTS WITH Z: That would be zingiber - commonly known as ginger but from the zingiberaceae family! One of the many distinct flavours which combine to create the base for Asian cuisine. Khmer dishes are no exception and this is a must have ingredient if you want to create an authentic flavour

SUNDAY 27th ONE: One small spirit house. No matter how big or small your business, office or home a spirit house is required. This simple one adorns the wall of a small local retailer

MONDAY 27th TWO: cold beers -Cambodia of Course!!!

TUESDAY 29th THREE: distinctly Cambodian handmade items I have bought since arriving. None of them were essential or necessary and all of them bring me great pleasure- a cane dish, a silk Kramer and lacquered chopsticks

WEDNESDAY 30th FOUR: monkeys in another of the many statues in Kep. This one is at a point where we never see monkeys but either side of it we regularly spot them. Unfortunately they are prone to raiding the garbage bins and creating a huge mess boldly foraging among the picnickers leftovers as well as openly stealing whenever possible 

THURSDAY 31st FIVE: of the stalls we frequent in the Kep Market

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