Between temple gazing in Siem Reap, and indeed to fuel the body for further assaults on the temples, we tuk-tuked back to town to the Old Market to rustle up a feed. I think I've mentioned before that, while I'm normally neurotically but subtly manipulating the itinerary on holidays to suit my selfish interest in food, these temples deserve more than grudging respect and a photograph or two.
They are truly relics to marvel at.
But as I happened to have the camera with me at lunch time, I saw no harm in pointing it around a bit. In the market's dark interior, some food sights came into view. A counter spread with a range of snacks presided over by a slightly bemused young girl unused to dealing with foreigners got my camera clicking. For another afternoon stumbling about the ruins, it would be necessary to graze my way across the snack options.
Fresh spring rolls, fat ones, filled with lettuce, herbs, noodles and thin slices of fatty pork seemed as good a place as any to start. Dipped in a snippy sauce not unlike nuoc cham in Vietnam, we were beginning in familiar territory. Further along, piles of noodles, white, cream and brown, were being fried up on the spot with a crunchy mix of bean shoots, cabbage and greens. Fried riceflour pancakes were laid overlapping, a yellow fan across a large section of the counter surface. There were fried spring rolls too, brown skinned with minimal filling but so satisfying in that know-it's-not-good-for-me kind of way.
But wait a minute. Where am I? This market stall menu is of southern Vietnam. Or at least heavily influenced by it.
Except for one item. A flattened rice flour dumpling filled with a green vegetable mix, fried up to be crispy and brown on the outside and served with vivid red chili sauce. I'm not sure of its origins but I was fairly satisfied with its taste.
The four of these discs I deposited gave me the edge later on in the afternoon when climbing over the rubble of another temple.