Monday, June 8, 2009


Some more miscellaneous photos today.

Lou and I went to the market this weekend to stock up our apartment. People buy almost everything here in these huge, filthy, chaotic marketplaces. Our local market is in a huge shed-like building which is, I suppose, the market proper, but people sell things for blocks in every direction. There seems to be no organizing principle of any kind, so the place is essentially unnavigable: it's a labyrinth of narrow, poorly-lit concrete aisles, sometimes transected by ditches full of watery grime and garbage, which sometimes have a plank across by way of a footbridge. The fruits and vegetables are great, but the meat is a little scary---huge sides of pork next to mounds of unidentifiable offal leaching puddles of juice. The flies love it. Here's a sample:

Presumably people eat the meat from the markets without any major complications, but I'm too squeamish to try. Luckily, you can get anything and everything at the markets: clothes from major Western brands (Gap, Abercrombie, Birkenstock, etc.), taken straight from the factories and sold at a fraction of the retail price, fake antique statuary, spare motorcycle parts, farming equipment, books, very professionally pirated DVDs from Malaysia, kitchen equipment, religious items (shrines, incense, candles, etc.), silk, paintings, construction materials, watches, jewelry, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. It's a lot of fun shopping in all the confusion. People are very friendly, and open to bargaining; I've learned my numbers in Khmer so that I can haggle a little bit.

Here's Louise shopping for fruit. The only ones I can identify so far are rambutan, in the lower-left corner (it's lot like lychee), and dragon fruit immediately to the right of that (has a nice, mild, white flesh).

We also went to a performance by a troupe of drummers at Sovanna Phum. Very beautiful traditional drumming, with dancers acting out a battle between giants, and then monkeys trashing the stage. I got a not-so-good picture in the low light.

I also made another not-so-good recording with my camera's rinky-dink microphone. Listen below, or here if the embedded player doesn't work.

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