There is an icecream vendor that plies his wares somewhere near my house at about 5:00 am each morning. I know this because he deploys the most common tactic to sell icecream in Phnom Penh: playing a garish electronic ringtone version of the Lambada. The process by which the Forbidden Dance came to be associated with mobile Cambodian icecream vendors is another story, a story that the pictured icecream vendor, Cheourn, couldn’t begin to answer because he uses the less sexy method of ringing a handheld bell to attract customers. Since Hun Sen placed the kibosh on broadcasting sexiness late last year, Cheourn’s more conservative approach is justified.
The icecream itself is made primarily from sweetened condensed milk and the block of cake surrounding it is carved from the same sort of rubbery foam from which they used to make Muppets, until the puppeteers began contracting a new form of hand cancer. Next time I’ll have a go at the sweet bread roll instead.