Monsoon Cocktails

About this time a year ago I checked the forecast. Thunder showers Sunday was the prediction. Perfect, says I. Monsoon Cocktails and dinner in the rain. As Sunday’s clouds gathered I hastened to one of the many canopied places on Street 172 and ducked in just as the sky billowed with fat monsoon stratocumuli. I ordered Jack on the rocks. In moments, proper Niagaras of rain were beating a lusty tattoo upon the awning, falling in... Read More

Nacho Phnom

I moved to Phnom Penh from Saigon for the nachos. Well, not entirely. But partly! It sounds absurd, but with ten thousand or so North American expats crowding the bars, pubs and hash houses of Ho Chi Minh City, there are only two that reliably offer the tasty little nubbin known as The Nacho. Here in PP, though, I can nibble nachos daily. Nachos are necessary for all North Americans, as well as many of those who love or tolerate them. It’s hot... Read More

Cambodia Shares Its Secrets

In Joseph Conrad’s short story, “The Secret Sharer,” a tall ship eases her way through the warm night, towards the coast of an exotic tropical kingdom. The captain secretly assists a mysterious man over the side and he swims to the lee-ward shore of “The Cambogee.” Nowadays we call that land Cambodia. Many years ago, as a sailor plying the “China Coast,” I often slipped past that spot where Conrad’s... Read More