Previous stop: Paraguay
Our last stop on this winter break vacation is Cambodia.
Cambodia is a kind of lost opportunity for me. When I lived in Lowell, Massachusetts, for whatever reason there was a huge Cambodian population living there—the second largest Cambodian population in the US, if I remember correctly. I don't know why. I wish I would have been more curious about it at the time, outside of watching the occasional show at the Lowell Folk Festival. So, don't be surprised to see a little bit of Lowell sprinkled in here with Cambodia.
Cambodia is the first of our three stops whose capital city I knew. But, again: I don't know much outside of that. The food, the music—those are blank spots. When I've read or learned anything about Cambodia, it always seemed to be in the context of war, of the Khmer Rouge, of US bombing in the 1960s and 1970s—important, clearly, but also clearly missing just about everything about the place.
So: we'll dive in for a day. Food, music, history. And then it's back to work on Monday.
I see Anthony Bourdain filmed an episode of No Reservations there in 2011: Season 10, Episode 2: Cambodia. We're going to watch that. I think that any time I'm going to travel somewhere, in person or virtually, I'm always going to search "Anthony Bourdain [LOCATION]" while planning.
Dishes that we're planning to make:
My wife picked those. I think we need a dessert as well.
Other quick info:
- Seven national parks (Wikipedia)
- Three World Heritage Sites (and eight on the proposed list)
- Main language: Khmer. I've learned several alphabets, and the Khmer alphabet looks really intense.
There seems to be an interesting vein about Cambodia and 1960s rock music that I want to check out:
- Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll (2014), a documentary directed by John Pirozzi
- Jason Newman, New Doc Examines Cambodia’s Rich, Tragic Music History, Rolling Stone (2015-04-28)
- Rupert Winchester, Cambodia's lost rock 'n' roll, Al Jazeera America (2014-04-09)
- Gregory Barber, The Death And Uneasy Rebirth Of Cambodia's Psychedelic Rock, NPR: Code Switch (2014-08-17)
- Andy Knight, A Tenacious Melody: Memory and Music in "Cambodian Rock Band", South Cost Repertory (2018-02-23)
- Quinn Libson, Across Languages And Generations, One Family Is Reviving Cambodian Original Music, NPR (2020-02-29)
- Maleika Twisk, Cambodia rocks on, The Monsoon Project (2019-04-30)
- Angkor Dance Troupe
- Andrea Shea, He Fled Cambodia's Genocide. Now He's Fighting To Save His Ceramics Tradition In Lowell, WBUR (2017-07-28)
- Kristi Palma, Eating in Lowell's Little Cambodia, The Boston Globe (2014-03-19)
- The Changing Face of America: Cambodians - A Temple and Then Community: Immigrants' Early Success Helped Lure Others, The Washington Post (1991-08-12)