|Posted by Leonard on November 9, 2010 at 4:40 AM|
Last night after hanging out a bit at Savuth's house we decided to head out to the local Siem Reap fun fair. Seeing the pure joy of a kid during a rare visit to a fun fair has got to be one of life's better and more simple pleasures. The picture doesn't do it justice as it was a pretty major affair. Lots of rides, plenty of food stalls and dozens if not hundreds of stalls selling everything from shoes to handbags to household accessories and more. The rides are quite simple, unsophisticated and would never qualify for liability insurance in the west but that does not have any negative impact on the joy and fun-factor for the kids. In some ways, the simple nature of it all creates a powerful back to basics type of pure fun that we no longer experience or perhaps appreciate with our high-tech, high-polish, super-sized lifestyle.
It was also a bit funny watching them initially struggle to eat their first-ever pizza slices with a plastic fork and knife which I think they associate with western food as a matter of fact. After a few minutes of observing their most valiant efforts, I decided that this was perhaps a moment when it would be appropriate to share some western wisdom.
After all, I was a university graduate with 6 years experience eating pizza and drinking beer, I mean studying, so I had been privileged to learn all the common and even more complex techniques of pizza consumption. For example, the 'one-handed-sea-lion-feed' for those slices where the toppings are more solidly fixed to the pizza surface or the two-handed 'pizza-point-thumb-support' technique for slices with heavier toppings where the point of the pizza becomes dangerously unstable and needs to be fed, conveyor-belt like, into the mouth.
We were very lucky in this case as the fun fair pizza slices were perfect for young Cambodian beginners: not too long from rear arc to front tip with the perfect relative dimensions of length-to-arc-to-thickness-to-weight, a thick and non-bendy crust and solidly embedded toppings under, not over, a fair amount of a non-runny cheesy cement-like covering.
After demonstrating the two-handed 'pizza-point-thumb-support' technique I realized there was an even better technique for these enthusiastic pizza disciples. Yes, without design or intention, this Cambodian fun fair pizza entrepreneur had created the perfect pizza for the very rare yet simple '2-handed-sandwich-grip' where one holds the slice on both sides at its widest rear point as one would hold a sandwich. The triangle and point of the slice remain stiff as a board and one can then take bites from the slice without much difficult positioning or mouth maneuvering. Somehow something got lost in the translation and a great deal of the pizzas still ended up on the mat anyways. But there was a lot of laughing so I think everyone enjoyed the experience.
After the pizza we went to one of the new modern ice cream parlors in town which was a real special first-time treat for the kids. Swenson's ice cream is in a small modern-style multi-level shopping mall near the Old Market. I had the most fun going up and down the escalators with the kids who seemed to be somewhere in that nexus of amazement, entertainment and terror.
The best ice cream eating moment was when Vannath bravely popped the maraschino cherry in his mouth with the expected result of painful comedic grimace, gagging and spitting as he desperately tried to get it out of his mouth. And as suits all kids, after the fun fair, the pizza, the escalators and the ice cream they were happy and exhausted and we only had one case of tummy ache.
Here you can see the entire album of this evening's fun!
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|Fun fair, pizza and ice cream|