Art, Cambodia, Expat, Family, Fashion, Food, lifestyle, Music, Personal, Phnom Penh, relationships, Travel, United States

Whirlwind.

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Layers of ugliness and masterpiece.

It has been 13 days since soaring into the air towards Phnom Penh, Cambodia and two full back home, in Washington- in Tacoma, That Quiet Little Mountain Town. The amount of breaths, thoughts, experiences…stuff… that has happened in these past two weeks: in the world, in America, in my heart: vast. I am exhausted, fatigued to the bone and only able to process scraps at a time, little scintilla of memories as my mind rests and wanders, wakes and tremors.

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Cambodia, Expat, Food, lifestyle, Personal, Phnom Penh, Travel, United States

Xiao long bao.

XLB

Writing today from Gate B9 in Taipei, waiting for a plane to- you guessed it- Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I’ve spent the past few weeks back in Washington making sure life still exists there (it does, and it’s thriving) and making some connections for work which has been rather exciting.

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Cambodia, Expat, Food, Personal, Phnom Penh, Travel, United States

Cold hands, warm heart.

It had been almost two and a half years since I had last set eyes on the Seattle city lights, gleaming like a forest full of little animal eyes in an inky night. I sat bundled up, peering out the window as my plane landed onto Washington ground on December 20th, 2014. The air may have been what felt close to freezing, but it was as if I could feel my blood warm as soon as the wheels hit the tarmac.

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Cambodia, Expat, Food, Personal, Phnom Penh

Birthdays.

CT bday

This week I celebrated my birthday. Seeing as it’s not the 1920s and I’m not ashamed (and hope I never will be because how ridiculous is that!) of the year I was born, I’m happy to share my age. I’ve entered a new chapter of life and hit a quarter of a century, something that makes me feel very old considering it feels like I was running around the neighborhood filming sasquatch videos and riding electric scooters with my best friend when we were thirteen just days ago. Not old in the sense that “oh my word my life is fleeting and I am going to get crow’s feet around my eyes and I am going to become a spinster cat lady”, just old in the way that I feel like the past half of my life has whizzed by me like a drone.

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Cambodia, Expat, Food, Phnom Penh

My favorite butterfly.

Common Tiger

I can’t step up to the plate and claim gastronomic knowledge and a palate boasting Michelin Star experience. I mean, I could exist on McDonald’s cheeseburgers, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, Taco Bell five layer burritos, Papa John’s pizza, Monster Munch, and Gregg’s Chicken Bakes in a dream world. And while there are plenty of delicious spots in the city ranging from basic, good but cheap sushi (The Sushi Bar), innovative, massive, and tasty burgers that drip all over your hands (Meat & Drink), tasty chilled ramen noodles doused in tahini with an Americanized spin (Sesame Noodle Bar), and muy muy fantastico Mexicana (ALMA Café)- I will always have a soft spot in my heart (and a big place in my belly) for The Common Tiger.

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Cambodia, Expat, Food, Phnom Penh

Miam Miam!

Miam Miam!

I have a love/hate relationship with AEON Shopping Mall. Yes, it’s the biggest and shiniest malls of them all, it’s stocked with a handful of shops that I will actually spend money in (that’s not a huge feat though…I can part way with my Washingtons and riel almost anywhere), has a great cosmetics and beauty selection that I can trust to be authentic, the arcade has an abundance of games and the machines actually work, and it’s overall a clean space.

The downsides? Parking can be a nightmare- I avoid the place like the plague on weekends, people still haven’t seemed how to use indoor plumbing in a way that doesn’t soak the entire stall and have wreaked havoc on what was a beautiful Japanese toilet system, and people tend to walk at the pace of a turtle when eyeballing all the shiny packaged things. Still though, I had been seeing images of food from Miam Miam pop up on my instagram and Facebook feed far too many times to ignore and made the trek to AEON this week to try the fare.

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Cambodia, Food, lifestyle, Phnom Penh

Shawarma overload.*

*and that’s not a bad thing!

Guests and friends

Guests and friends

Yesterday I had shawarma on the mind and I stuffed myself to the brim with something like 6 styles of the goods!

With a takeaway chicken wrap from Beirut for lunch (not the best idea considering I had plans for a specific shawarma tasting bonanza later that night?) I was fully ready for the Iranian feast of the evening to come. Casandra, Rachel, and I joined a few enjoyable people including the owner of the new establishment, Nami, and the lovely GM, Gwen, of Kaviar restaurant and the Grab & Go shawarma restaurant next Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Street 57. Over chilled beers and chatter we dined on some of the best wraps and sandwiches I’ve had of the shawarma family.

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Cambodia, Expat, Food, Phnom Penh

Foodpanda.

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If you’re a resident of The Charming City, you know that living in Phnom Penh makes dining out just too easy: the restaurants are endless (a few personal favorites at the moment: The Common Tiger, Meat & Drink, Aperitivo, Doors, Da Sandro, Dim Sum Emperors), you’re spoiled for choice, and the prices are generally fantastic value for what you’re getting. What’s even better than dining out? Ordering in.

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Expat, Fashion, Food, lifestyle, Travel

So long, Hong Kong.

Photo: Aimée Han

Photo: Aimée Han

Last weekend, I spent a few days in Hong Kong curating and styling for an upcoming project spearheaded by a very talented friend. I got to work with the spirited, chocolate-loving Aimée Han, a brilliant photographer and overall interesting person. I have thought about what I would want to do or where to move in Asia if it weren’t Phnom Penh, and Hong Kong had been mentioned a few times as somewhere people could see me living.

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