Hellish weekend. Halloween. In Siem Reap. Friday night. Streets around Old Market were crowded, not as usual with tourists, but with locals surprisingly. Hunting foreign zombies. An excited atmosphere. With all basic and disgusting slimy bloody brain organs innards eating drinking tournaments of a chemical atomic war taste. There was no excuse not to get drunken. Finally excusing myself not standing sober the suffering of silly masked intruders, celebrating a frightening meaninglessness. With sort of an arrogant playful ambition, challenging the belief of cambodia, a spooky country with a strong relation to the spiritual world, with all its folk tales, ghosts and the khmer rouge legacy on top of the ulcerating presence of a traumatized continuation.
And all of this only for promotion, expat business gold-diggers and bloody money, a truly scary relationship. – I have to question my goal making business here. Pub crawlers everywhere. Dressed outrageous zombies, rouged with bad taste, not the funny one. I don´t know how, but fortunately I survived.
Next morning, at a serious morning hour, picked up by my cambodian brothers and after loading our motorbikes with cans of beer, heading for the home of Suleng, a basic house, made of corrugated sheet iron, painted green, located nearby Angkor Wat. Driving drunken and straight, more or less, into a stop-and-search operation, again, 7000 Riel for not wearing an helmet and having no side mirrors. Not for being drunken. I more expected they will ask for a can – cambodian style.
Trips on the countryside visiting my local friends always wow me. The amazingly beautiful nature. Paddy fields. Buffallos. Kids on top, riding and guiding. Playing. Smiling. Waving or just gazing, randomly starting to cry. Maybe it is the beard, maybe the magic color on my skin. Tangentially people everywhere, in peace and with a smile from their bottom of hospitality, empathy and respect. Just lovely.
Suleng was prepared, which is not naturally. Some neighbours joined.
“Please have a shit brother.” I was invited to sit down and join the culinary feast.
“Just next to you? Brave man, you know what I ate yesterday, blood and brain.”
Laughing. For now.
For an appetizer freshly set chicken blood was provided. I passed. It looked aweful. Like a liver. Flabby like on of these jelly brains last night. And nothing to dip in, to cover the however taste. We were sitting next to the house, under a group of trees, spending the only shade of the property, between the kitchen and hearth – placed outside as usual, and the slaughtering block. Behind the abandoned chicken house. Next dish on the special menue, chicken heart. I passed again. It looked like a tenclawed squid and I despise squid, I mean the taste. So Pomsen, my brother, chopped it into pieces with a small cleaver and they enjoyed. Chicken heart? Seriously? I mean the heart of a stallion or bull´s balls, alright. But chicken? I was surprised that it really looked like a heart. Beers are served one by one out of a huge metal bowl with ice ice ice, cambodian style. About five cans later the rest was on the floor. Duck salad, very tasty. Second choice, eel salad, so good! Third choice, the rest of the chicken, chopped, fried, with some herbs, minty and spicy. I picked around with my chopsticks, didn’t know which part I choosed, barely could recognize the feed and I tried before, once and enough.
“Why you eat chicken head, brother?”
I was not sure if he was joking, but I feared the worst because I tasted it already.
“Really! So the slimy stuff I – was – then – yummy.”
“Put it here, we give it to the dog later.”
“To the dog?”
“Yes he likes.”
“So why you put it on the plate anyway?”
“Because good for taste and we know how not to eat.”
I left late afternoon, forever drunken and wishing I can go to have a shit soon again.