I’m constantly asked what I miss most from home in the UK. At the moment, the answer is not a lot. Firstly, because I really like Cambodia so it seems a bit pointless to grieve the things I can’t do anything about. But mostly because you can find most things here.
Yes, the situation would be very different if I were in rural Cambodia but having been in Phnom Penh and now Siem Reap, I’ve not really missed out on anything. Both places are very much geared for foreigners. The supermarkets all sell a range of western foods, and there’s a range of small shops that specialise in western living.
Often if it’s the case that I’ll be missing something and the very next day, I’ll see it in a shop. I was craving chocolate biscuits then I found McVities in Angkor Market. Instantly, I no longer wanted them. I suppose it’s the unattainable that is most desirable. (Imagine how different the Garden of Eden story would have been had I been the first man- “he tasted and found the cookies were good.”) The same happened with cheese. Although, it is prohibitively expensive here.
So here are some of the things you can get, if you so wish:
- Canned escargots (oh la la)
- Tea (usually Twinings, but you can get fair trade)
- Tea towels (this, apparently, is a very recent development)
- Really good western restaurants
- Fish and chips
- Pie (the pastry tends to be a bit more like pizza dough here)
- Health food stores
- Vegetarian restaurants
- Really good gelato.
I’m always amazed at the variety of what you can get. If you’re prepared to pay for it, that is.