The event overall was enjoyable and we got to talk to so many interesting people- Paul hopefully got us invited to a New Zealand colonel's mansion for a barbecue. The food was delicious and highlighted dishes from around the country (Boston Baked beans, New Orleans Jambalaya, New York Cheesecake), free drinks were a-flowing, live jazz, a cheesy digital fireworks show and we got met the ambassador. When we left, we got goodie bags of "American" treats- I'm not sure I'd pick Hershey's chocolate, soymilk, Sydner's pretzels and Bigelow tea to represent our country but I'm not complaining! Armed with our patriotic drawstraw flag bags (where boxes of tea would jump out randomly "Katie! Why is there tea on the table?!?"), we headed to Clarke quay for some dancing to a live band to make the most of being all dressed up.
|Us and the US ambassador|
After landing in Siem Reap, we headed out almost immediately for a cooks in tuk tuk class. Our chef for the day accompanied us the local market to teach us about the local ingredients while exposing us to the daily life of the people with skwirmy fish, ladies violently chopping up meat with their bare hands with cute kids running around and people making flower and fruit offerings at typical temple. The class was phenomenal- the three of us made a banana flower salad, amok and a tapioca-yam pudding for dessert. We enjoyed our meal poolside and I think we all plan to recreate these khmer dishes back in the US.
|Us and our chef with our delicious meal served poolside|
|Morning at Ankor Wat|
|Us at one of the gates to Ankor Thom|
|Deb on the boat through the floating villages|
By the time Sunday rolled around, we were all so tired that Deb read the word "amazing" as "amazeballs", an exclamation we're going to try to make stick. Our plans to take it easy changed when we learned we could get a tuk tuk for a half-day tour of workshops and airport delivery for just $7. The tour of the first workshop allowed us to learned about dying and weaving palms into baskets, candle and soap making, spice cultivation and making of more cosmetics. It ended with a free mug of cinnamon coffee or lemongrass tea, while we enjoyed while chatting with our tour guide who kept stroking our hands, saying we had skin like babies, "big babies". After that, we headed to the silk farm for a free tour of the production from the growing of the mulberries to retrieving the silk to dying and weaving into the final product. There was also a mini-museum showcasing some of the famous patterns and common silk goods for Cambodians. Midway through the tour, we had a tasty snack of a silkworm stripped of its silk straight out of its hot pot. Yum!
|We love tuk tuks!|