October 2016: A Typical Cambodian Meal

“Well, what do you think you’re going to have?” Joe asked me, looking through his menu, which was about as thick as the phone books of yore.

I paged through mine, considering. “I think I’ll have the coconut curry shrimp,” I said at last. 

Joe ordered ribs and a coke. The restaurant owner brought us complementary iced tea and slices of fruit to go along with Joe’s coke, and we snacked on watermelon and pineapple while waiting for our entrees. 

After a few minutes, huge piles of steaming food were brought to us with extra bowls of rice on the side, in case we were arrogant enough to think we could finish it all. The meal was capped off with one last round of fruit slices. 

Finally, stuffed to the gills, we asked for our check. Joe looked at the bill, frowned, and glanced into his wallet. Something was clearly bothering him, but I was too busy trying to get Annabelle into the Baby Bjorn without crushing my overly full stomach. 

At last, he gets my attention. “How much should I tip for a five dollar meal?”

The cheapest coke we’ll buy in our life.

A delicious soup from a different meal, more than enough for both of us, with leftovers. Cost: around $1.25

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