trade that guitar for a sitar!
trade that guitar for a sitar!

If my name were Maria and I were twirling with abandon through these hot, grimy streets as if they were my towering Alps—I’d shamelessly sing you a sensational tune about my favorite things. I might even wear my green drapery inspired dress (but it would have lots of tacky sequins) and romp about with my sitar case, balancing on the yellow and black striped medians with motos swooshing by, tuk tuks in tow, dodging the skinny, suspicious cats with crooked tales and the avid (though usually nocturnal) badminton players.

Lately, Fruits are a few of my favorite things here in Phnom Penh. Why?  Because they are just plain odd. And tasty.

The fruits are SO surprising and so strange.  They have the most bizarre shells and outer layers.  You can never really guess what is going on inside until you just get dirty and crack it open.  It’s a wondrous feeling—like discovering tiny, secret worlds over and over again.  Here are a few I really enjoy-

hearts and everything!
hearts and everything!

Silica– kind of nutty, creamy colored smooth “meat” folded around a hard center seed.  The outside shell is this rusty red-brown flaky armour that sheds all over everything.  It is like something between a medieval beast and a pinecone

not the fire breathing sort
not the fire breathing sort

Dragon Fruit—this one is gorgeous—everything about it is simple and alluring.  It has this flaming, blistery hot-pink peel with these delicate little leaf like fronds that kind of whisp out the sides of its full, round shape- usually the size of a large orange. This outer peel is reminiscent of a pomegranate, but thicker, smoother and easier to peel.  But once you open it up, you find the fruit bright white, juicy and dense, speckled with a million tiny black seeds.  When you bite into it, the fruit is refreshing and mild and all the tiny seeds pop in your mouth, like those of a kiwi.  It’s delightful.  I love dragon fruit.

Rambutan!! (this one just has to have exclaimation points after it!!) Now this one is kind of like a Lychee, if you’ve ever spied one of these before. Besides sounding like a jungle conquistador, they are small and round but covered in these soft, curving spikes. Rambutans tend to be redish in color but once you peel back the spikies, you find this translucent pearl of fruit that is about the size of a large gumball—ooo—it’s sweeter than the others and so good ☺

mmm hmm

mmm hmm

I love fruit.  I also love things that are unpredictable or contradictory in nature.  These fruits tend to just that.  It’s a nice combination.  Perhaps we should all strive for a bit more contradiction in our lives– just enough to keep things interesting.



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