Living in Cambodia: The Watermelon Way

When I lived in the Cambodian jungle, there was no store. Not. one. single. one.

There was no “I have a craving for (insert junk food) and I think I will hop in my car and go get some.”

Once our maid departed for the day, any late night craving meant boiling water and eating ramen soup. So when a fruit season would hit, I was the first one at the source, scrounging.

I could independently feed myself with le fruit du jour and imbibe all day long! This was exciting stuff. Breakfast, lunch, supper and snacks. Never got boring, ever.

On the odd day that we crossed the mighty Mekong River and went shopping, I would find more of the same fruit. Like lots more (see photograph above). Thankfully some Australian chocolate (which the mouse in my house would eat) and french fries could also be mustered up.

Fruit became my saving grace… all of it… except for one.

Papaya.

Just say no to papaya!

(Eating watermelon today reminded me how much it used to mean to me. And how cheap it used to cost! It also sparked a creative way to use watermelon leftovers on a hot day. Yes, this is he who is a goofball, of the best kind. However, I hope he refrains from such watermelon use in Cambodia when we go this year. He may feel cool, but he doesn’t look it!)

What food saved your day when you were travelling or living elsewhere? Is there any kind of fruit you dislike?

51 comments

  1. unfinishedtravel · June 18, 2015

    I was just in India last week during mango season, and I started eating mangoes as meals. There were so many delicious varieties! Mangoes are my obsession when I am in India – I could live on them for days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · June 18, 2015

      Me too. I just ate one today but I am sure they are not nearly as good as those in India! And I am so jealous that you were just in India as well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • unfinishedtravel · June 18, 2015

        I was just in time for the last of the juicy mangoes that are eaten by sucking the pulp out. They were incredibly sweet and divine; I’ve yet to find mangoes like that anywhere else in the world. India was amazing – I only wish I’d been able to stay longer than a week!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lovetotrav · June 18, 2015

        You will have to return. It is one of those huge unbelievably diverse countries that requires multiple visits! Or so I tell myself 🙂 And those mangoes sound incredibly delicious!

        Liked by 1 person

      • unfinishedtravel · June 18, 2015

        I’ve been 7 times and I still can’t wait for my next trip 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lovetotrav · June 18, 2015

        OH my 7 times!!! I have a lot of catching up to do with having only been once but always planning the second time!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. njmagas · June 18, 2015

    For me it was ice coffee and anpan in the middle of a heat wave in Tokyo my first year here. I was all by myself (Alex and I had to live apart for a while) and it was blisteringly hot. I didn’t know much Japanese then, but I needed a place to escape. After reading the sign outside for long enough to know exactly what I wanted to order, I shyly went inside and asked for the cheapest thing on the menu. It saved my life that day. Even the cockroach inside didn’t bother me. The ice cold coffee and invigorating red bean was just what I needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · June 18, 2015

      It does feel like such a huge accomplishment when you can read and understand something and order it! And to escape the heat… good for you. I remember those days when those kinds of things are huge and you feel so satisfied after.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Sock Mistress · June 18, 2015

    Depends where I am as to what I crave, in the USA, vegetables! In most of Asia, chocolate because it melts fast. I like buying potato chips in places where I can’t read the package – mystery chips 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · June 18, 2015

      We do that too! Potato chips are so much fun in other countries when you don’t know what the flavour tastes like etc. And you can never go wrong with chocolate. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. nylonliving · June 17, 2015

    I love apples. seriously I should have been born a horse. Hate grapefruit. too tart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · June 17, 2015

      I do love my apples too….. many kinds. Thank goodness they are pretty common here. Not a fruit that I ever go without!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dawn · June 17, 2015

    I loved papaya when I was in Hawaii…isn’t as good anywhere else. Go to fruit…would be grapefruit for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · June 17, 2015

      OH.. grapefruit. That is one I don’t have too often but do like too.

      Like

  6. Manja Mexi Movie · June 17, 2015

    Hehe. Nutella. And fruit is awesome – haven’t had many ‘exotic’ varieties yet though. I’m angry about strawberries. Each one I eat, I’m hoping for the taste of the times past. It never comes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · June 17, 2015

      Yes, I have a daughter who is also a nutella fan. Too bad about the strawberries. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Anabel Marsh · June 17, 2015

    I would not like to have had the sticky head after wearing that hat…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · June 17, 2015

      Ha Ha! He said it had dried out but I doubt it. It was a silly day to say the least. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. garym6059 · June 17, 2015

    I think it’s easy to take for granted for most of us that we can just hop in a our vehicle and in less than 20 minutes hit a big brand grocery store. Nothing wrong with a watermelon hat either!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · June 17, 2015

      I agree. We get so used to our conveniences until something goes wrong… the car breaks down, we move etc. I think his hat was cool on a hot day but a tad heavy to wear!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. There’s not much fruit I won’t eat. I do love citrus and watermelon. Any melon, actually. Yum.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · June 17, 2015

      Yes, I do love it too as I sit here with a big bowl of cherries in front of me! Another great thing about summer.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Cindy · June 17, 2015

    Go to “food?” Chocolate…. always. Melted, frozen, melted then frozen..doesn’t matter. I’ll blow the dust off, bite around the raisins, lick it off the foil it’s stuck to..whatever it takes. As long as I have chocolate, I’m good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · June 17, 2015

      Chocolate does “rock” the food world I think. It simply is heaven in the mouth.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. SD Gates · June 17, 2015

    I do not like peaches or apricots with that fuzzy skin. Gives me chills up my spine, like fingernails on a chalkboard. I found this fruit salad in Hawaii, when we were staying at a hotel in Maui. It was so scrumptious, I ate several pounds of it. Let’s just say my bowels were not prepared for the onslaught. I think my go-to food has always been ice cream. I can live without a lot of the foods I am accustomed to, but ice cream makes me really happy.
    PS. Had an Aprium yesterday – it is a mix between a plum and an apricot – delicious (not a very furry outside).

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · June 17, 2015

      Oh I so know what you mean by the furry outsides. When I was younger, I wouldn’t touch peaches but now I do but prefer to still peel them which makes it so messy. Never heard of an aprium before. And who could argue with ice cream… my family is addicted to the stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SD Gates · June 17, 2015

        So is mine. I had my husband buy a box of vanilla and a box of chocolate the other day and do you think I got any of it? No!! I did not!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lovetotrav · June 17, 2015

        Yes, our family fights over it as well. I know that this Sunday, Father’s Day, will involve a lot of it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • SD Gates · June 17, 2015

        Brilliant idea!!! Ice cream all day long! Yummm!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dawn · June 17, 2015

      I had an aprium two days ago for the first time, never heard of them either…was very good. Now I have to see where I can get more!

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Dee Gilbert · June 17, 2015

    Squeezing a slice of lemon on a slice of ripe papaya makes a great difference. I love it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. that traveling nurse · June 17, 2015

    why no to papaya? they’re good for ya! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · June 17, 2015

      I just don’t like the taste of them… can’t do it. That is all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • that traveling nurse · June 17, 2015

        have you tried semi-ripe papaya, like when they’re still green and crunchy? it tastes different from the ripe one. plus you can dip it with vinegar! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • lovetotrav · June 17, 2015

        No, I haven’t but I might like that. I like mangoes that are not yet ripe with salt so maybe papaya would be the same.

        Like

      • that traveling nurse · June 17, 2015

        ooh, I love me my green mangoes!!! yum, my mouth is watering right now. 😉 i hope you will like the green papaya.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lovetotrav · June 17, 2015

        I will give it a try!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Sarah Ferguson · June 17, 2015

    Mandarin oranges/clementines in China – I didn’t eat oranges of any sort before this, as they never seemed sweet enough to me. Then my Korean roommate left me some one day and I was starving, so before I knew it, I was begging her for more…right before I became the best customer of the orange man at the neighborhood grocery. To this day, I cannot get enough clementines!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · June 17, 2015

      Ahh that is sweet. That is exactly how I feel about watermelons. Wonderful to have a good food memory from a special place!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. vrein11 · June 17, 2015

    LOVE WATERMELON!!! Just started getting them here in Wisconsin as well. They just don’t grow here like they do in the warmer regions!! Love your post today!! Anything with watermelon in it, and a funny picture of a guy with half of one on his head, has got to be good!!!! hehee…

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · June 17, 2015

      Thanks. I adore it too. It just puts me in a good mood… or maybe that is summer that does?!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. any1mark66 · June 17, 2015

    I remember guava and rainbow papaya from Hawaii. Lush almost juice fruit. They went really well with rice rolls.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. karenfranza · June 17, 2015

    Ha! We both had Cambodian watermelon in our posts today – what are the odds?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · June 17, 2015

      I just saw that. Hilarious! Nice to know Cambodia still has them. Can’t wait to return there. Your posts make me so jealous!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. WhenInTurkey · June 16, 2015

    Watermelon is the go-to fruit for families in Turkey too! I remember my father in law would bring back watermelon almost every day- to the point where my mother in law would say “dont get watermelon today” Then he would come back with watermelon and she would exclaim “Do you not understand turkish!?” Hahaha…I love watermelon 🙂 it’s in the middle of the season here in FL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovetotrav · June 17, 2015

      Your mother-in-law sounds like she is really funny. And yes way up here in Canada our season has just begun.

      Liked by 1 person

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