Popsicles from Malaysia

I love these popsicles once in a while. They're one of the few interesting ice cream brands I've seen in Cambodia. By interesting I mean the flavors are local, not the typical imported vanilla chocolate strawberry. They carry red bean, sweet yellow corn, durian, taro (this is the least tasty flavor unfortunately), and black glutinous rice. I've only ever seen them in the bigger TELA gas station mini-marts or at the Paragon grocery store (behind the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh). … [Read more...]

Filipino food: Arce Dairy has got the BEST tropical ice cream flavors

I love ice cream. One of the things I was looking forward to most when I went back to Manila after being away for over 20 years is  the ice cream. Mango, ube (purple yam), macapuno (a type of mutant coconut with soft meat inside instead of water), atis (sugar apple), nanca (jackfruit), pinipig (pounded glutinous rice) - just to name a few of the more interesting tropical flavors. Back when I was a kid there the brand to get was Magnolia, but the line seems to have faded a bit. Towards the end of our stay in Manila I had to binge on this one premium brand, Arce Dairy. It's less sweet but packs a denser taste than other brands cuz (or so I'm told) it's made with carabao milk and more natural ingredients.   … [Read more...]

About fieldwork: "and oh, the places you’ll go!"

I'm more often than not in the provinces for one of my bigger projects, an STI (sexually transmitted infections) survey*. I am the only foreigner, and no one on my survey teams or the provincial offices that I interact with for days on end is competent enough in English that every utterance does not need to be repeated multiple times, loud and punctuated by wild gesturing. Even my translator needs much explaining. This can be draining...Although communication difficulties are a given, that daily reserve of energy sometimes isn't enough to stay afloat deep waters of frustration. Especially when you are hot, tired, dehydrated, waiting to finish the day's work, and you catch one of your lab techs taking ice out of the cold chain for his drink. … [Read more...]