Friday, June 18, 2010
Dang Tung Part I
Thursday morning we went with Lauren to her village market. Lauren and I had Cambodia breakfast*. Cale was not hungry. Lauren had some sort of curry rice. I had a noodle soup, with unidentifiable meats...oh and clotted blood. I sort of ate around the meats and blood.
*I am starting to get the impression that it is only western cultures that have special foods that are only supposed to be eaten at breakfast. Thais and the Khmer both eat rice or noodles dishes as breakfast foods, the same as they would for lunch or dinner. The Samoans would have toast or eggs or something for breakfast, but that is something I think they inherited from the missionaries. A more common Samoan breakfast dish was saimini (raman noodles). Of course, I could be totally wrong about this and my outside the US breakfast experiences are limited to these three countries. So ignore this and we can go back to the regularly scheduled blog entry.
Lauren took us to meet her favourite seamstress so she could alter one of Lauren's Khmer outfits for me to wear to the wedding on Friday. When I had tried the top on the night before a deep breath had burst three buttons off the back. Lauren is a pretty tiny girl and I am a ogre in Southeast Asia. Interestingly enough Cale and I were told by two separate people in the market that we were a good size. They were used to foreigners being so much bigger and liked our size better.
Even though Lauren is smaller than me the alterations to her top and skirt were oddly to make them smaller in places. Instead of making the skirt larger to accommodate my hips, which would have been a trickier alteration, instead we just hitched the skirt up higher so that my hips went into an already larger area and then she made the waist a little smaller so that it wouldn't bunch up funnily. I have no idea why they decided to make the top smaller, as the entire reason it needed fixing was that I had burst the buttons. When I wore the top to the wedding the next day I had to refrain from breathing in deeply.
You may notice in the pictures of this alteration process I suddenly am quite well-endowed in the chest area. I didn't suddenly grow boobs while I was away. All Khmer dress-up clothes for ladies have built in boobs. They are these have spheres made of sturdy cloth. Lauren once specifically requested an dress made without the "balls" as they are called, but it was refused. She was told that she needed the balls to be beautiful.
When I took off my shirt to try on the top of the outfit there was sudden interest in my sports bra. In the end I had to take it off so the seamstress could look at it. I apologized as I handed it over, explaining it was both damp and stinky. Lauren explained the use of sports bras versus regular bras. When I put my shirt back on later, I didn't have the bar on and there seemed to be some sort of disappointment in my boobs. One of the ladies gave me the scoop half of the Laura Hanks "scoop and slam." I didn't get it translated, so I am not sure what they were saying about my boobs. Then they were all entertained as I attempted to put my sports bra back on under my shirt.
Later in the day we heard rumors of a exorcism occurring nearby. Lauren's host brother had gone to it taking his oldest daughter. We were told that it should start around 1pm and go until 4pm. In the afternoon we headed out in search of this exorcism. It was quite the bike ride away from Lauren's house. She rode on her Peace Corps bike and gave her cruiser bike to Cale. I sat side saddle on the luggage rack thing on the back of the cruiser bike, a very popular way to share bikes around here. Occasionally, Lauren would stop and inquire further directions, narrowing down the location of the exorcism. We finally found ourselves wandering through dry rice fields, avoiding cows and their droppings to the complete astonishment of any local children. Eventually we ran into Lauren's host brother who told us the exorcism was already over. We had missed it. Later, while we hung out with some of Lauren's host relatives she tried to determine why the exorcism had ended so early. She was told because there was only one, but she couldn't determine if it was because there was only one ghost to be exorcised or because there was only one magician/wizard to do the exorcizing. It was all very confusing.
We ended the night eating dinner with her family and showing them some of our pictures from Samoa.
Posted by Cale