Sunday was a fruit day and I’m officially jealous. The fruit started around 6am when I wandered around to a little market around the corner from my apartment. I had not really visited the place before. There, amid a phalanx of motorcycles like varnish ebony guardians outside the cafes, were women with floppy hats, other with the headscarfs that identify them as Cham, with fruit and household sundries on rush mats.
One woman sat on a low stool in front of a brazier made of a terracotta cauldron set at angle angle and filled with burning charcoal. She would take a flat, thin white disk from a pile beside her and juggle it with a pair of instruments made of narrow, long wire fans. The disk doubled in size and puffed up into something like a poppadom, which she placed on a pile next to her.
Small watermelons the size of a small child’s head were piled by the roadside. I bought three for 1,000 riels, the equivalent of 25 cents.
On another mat were rambutan, round red and hairy, still hanging from the twig and beside them were rows of Dragon fruit, pitaya, like fist-sized flames burning neon pink and green. The Cambodian name for them, Sror Kaa Neark, apparently means dragon scales.
I’ve never been impressed by dragon fruit, they’ve always had a shy insipid taste for me but when I tried these the taste was stronger but still light, and pleasant.
I bought a couple and along with the rambutan paid something nominal for them.
Next was a trip to see a fellow voice-worker, Haylie, he husband Tom and three-year old daughter Bodia.