Satay Cart

Satay at Chatuchuk

Pristine white countertop, immaculately displayed satay skewers, and the sense of organisation and style that I have never seen within the Cambodian street food genre. Largely, because this satay cart wasn’t in Cambodia, it was under the stairs at the Mo Chit skytrain station near Chatuchak Market in Bangkok. If strolling over the top of a waft of satay smoke doesn’t make you hungry, I’m probably not going to be the first person to tell you that you live a life of olfactory impecunity.

25 thoughts on “Satay Cart”

  1. Did you ever address the comment made by the Khmer national asking that you to revise your banner as it was deemed offensive to their culture? I see no mention of a reply anywhere. As your banner still remains the same I can only assume that you’ve moved forward with regular blogging and completely ignored this person’s simple request. If this is indeed the case, then I find this to be a real shame and just another negative example of insensitive western attitudes towards important cultural and spiritual beliefs whilst staying as a priviliged GUEST in their lovely country. Please don’t disappoint. You have the opportunity here to do the right thing, even though you may not fully understand or agree with the request. Feel free to do as you wish at home, but for the sake of goodwill, let’s all act sincerely respectful towards the local culture as Cambodians certainly have been through enough negativity already. Best wishes and positive vibrations to you.

  2. Sorry Buddha, I haven’t been keeping up with the comments since I’ve been out of the country. My belief was that the aggrandisation of the image of Angkor Wat was part of France’s attempt to stamp their paternalistic image onto Khmer culture by using the Angkorean past as a parallel to their Napoleonic era. I was playing a bit of devious postcolonial cultural inversion, but obviously, it has all come unstuck.

    My plan was to remove the Angkor Wat as soon as Cambrew fulfils my request to remove it from their beer label. It’s definitely under consideration.

  3. I have $10 here that says ‘Buddha’ is a self-hating white uber-liberal, Landcruiser driving, air-con villa living, NGO employee.

    Probably with a weird goatee beard, brown strappy sandals and a fetish for lentils and tofu.

  4. Phil – Thanks for the response. I understand your point. And you’re right, not all is black and white. I’m sure that you meant no offence and your consideration is certainly appreciated. Now let’s get back to those interesting edibles…

  5. Personally I find the chilis extremely offensive. It amazes me that such a self-proclaimed foodie would have failed to notice that chilis are not indigenous to Cambodia and are generally used sparingly in AUTHENTIC cuisine…I think we would all prefer it if you were to change your blog to a pleasing and unoffensive beige colour and refrain from any creative flourishes or embellishments.

  6. Maytel, I’m cambodian and use chilis pretty freely. In fact, I’ve eaten my breakfast with chilis before. I don’t know where you got the idea that chilis are used sparingly in cambodian dishes… because I know a ton of cambodians.. and their cooking will seriously make you want to breathe fire. Perhaps you’ve been eating at too many yuppy “authentic” cambodian restaurants. As for your stupid comments on what makes a blog aesthetically pleasing… this is not your blog..blogs are an expression of the individual. Let the owner of this blog do whatever they wish.

  7. Buddha, how dare you choose such a wrong nickname and try to defend Cambodian feelings regarding use of symbols???

    And dear Phil can we just leave the French out of that???

    Thank you for your kind understanding.

  8. TO HML

    IRONY – i·ro·ny n
    1. a type of humor based on using words to suggest the opposite of their literal meaning
    2. something said or written that uses sardonic humor
    3. incongruity between what actually happens and what might be expected to happen, especially when this disparity seems absurd or laughable
    4. something that happens that is incongruous with what might be expected to happen, especially when this seems absurd or laughable
    5. See dramatic irony
    6. See Socratic irony

    Definitions of irony on the Web:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&client=safari&rls=en&q=define%3Airony&btnG=Search

    God Help Us

  9. ‘Buddha’ might want to look into the misuse of his name at a certain overseas alcohol-serving establishment. I smell trademark infringement.

    http://www.qdcomic.com/archivecomic/2003_05_25_week.html

    As per a certain well-known national icon, there’s a book coming out in July, “Cambodge : The Cultivation of a Nation 1860-1945″ (Penny Edwards) that covers a good deal of the cultural spin it’s been given.

  10. Maytel,

    I’m so impressed you can use the dictionary. Here’s another word for you..
    and I’ll let you use your newfound research skills to look it up in case you don’t quite understand the significance of it…

    PRETENTIOUS

    Have fun!

    P.S. It actually isn’t irony anyways , sweetheart. I said that the OWNER.. which I don’t think you are… has the complete right to express what they want. I’m not the one who openly affronted the owner on his own website. Now, if I went on YOUR blog and posted that comment… yeah, now that would have been ironic. You might want to do a little more research on the meaning of the word ironic.

  11. my gosh, there should be a place in cyberspace where we can take off our shirts and duke it out.

    HML, I was being ironic not you..silly. Of course I don’t believe the owner of the site should change his website, or cease from adding creative flourishes….when I said that I was being ironic. This means I meant the exact opposite of what was said and that should have been obvious by the ridiculousness of what I suggested….did you really think I was serious when I said that his blog should be beige? Of course the comments about chilis were pretentious and wrong, that was the point I was trying to make. I was being ironic

    A word of advice, a lot of English humour is based around irony, so before you go start getting your knickers in a twist* and misinterpretting ironic comments, ask yourself this: is the comment far beyond what would be considered reasonable or does it in some way sound outrageous or ridiculous, if so the writer is probably being ironic.

    Now do you understand

    *knickers in a twist – another perculiar english euphorism for getting upset up over nothing

  12. Discussion of the various tropes involving incongruity is quite frankly, wasted on this website. From now on, I’ll be avoiding irony and sticking to meioses.

  13. yup, having to explain it really took the fun out of the whole thing, but given that my antagonist is not a native english speaker I felt it only fair not to adhere to the adage “irony is wasted on the….” but rather make allowances for cross-cultural miscommunication.

  14. yeah, I doubt you are a native english speaker yourself. I didn’t feel like pointing this out earlier, but your command of the english language is pretty poor if you actually thought your comment was really an example of irony. I’d actually say it was more fitting of sarcasm. I’d even acknowledge that yoru comment was even quite facetious… but not ironic. I have a great appreciation for sarcasm, but you can’t expect poorly delivered sarcasm to be funny . I suppose I’ll throw this in… I’m willing to wager that I am more fluent in the english language than you are having lived in america for my entire life. P.S. I’m glad to see that you are ethnocentric also.

  15. P.P.S. Also… the word is euphemism.. not euphorism. And.. knickers in a twist and sayings of the like are idioms… not euphemisms.

  16. On second thoughts…..fuck it, I give up. If the price for posting a fairly innocuous comment on the old phnomenon is to be browbeaten by a self-righteous overseas Khmer with a big fat chip on their shoulder then I give up. You win HML. I will forthwith cease and desist from ever again making any facetious, ironic, sarcastic or sardonic comments in cyberland ever again so long as I live. All comments from this point on will be made in dead seriousness. I will even type with an upright back and pursed lips so as to ensure that no facetious/ ironic/sarcasitic/ or sardonic overtones make it into any of my comments, especially as I am so clearly crap at making them. I will also cease and desist from in any attempt at engaging in the deployment of subtle cultural or english language based humour for fear of reprisals, being misunderstood, or worse labeled ethnocentric. In fact in tribute to your helping me see the error of my ways, my poor slapstick grammar and inappropriate use of the word euphemism I shall begin my own crusade to hunt down hapless facetious/ sarcastic/ironic/ sardonic comment leavers anywhere in blog land and relentlessly browbeat them too in order to help them to see the error of their ways just as you have helped me. Congratulations you win, blogs everywhere will be much safer thanks to you….no really I’m serious.

  17. Anyway, yeah Phil back to the satays, they look great…in cases like this I like to ask the question “What would Jesus say?”, but I feel it more relevant to ask “What would Jo say?”

    I do really enjoy the street food in BKK and pretty much eat anything on offer, but I don’t have a gut made of steel like I think Jo has (that’s a complement Jo you food freak), I’m not always so keen on grey gravy.

    I wonder what the street food was like in PP back in the day, before the shit hit the fan (so to speak).

    I hear there is good goat (or street goat as it were) on offer down in PP?

    PS the Khmer guys I work with love your site, upside down blah blah blah and all!

    The biggest laughs were from the Chaly actually (they recommend a Dream).

  18. Gutbomb – I love goat curry, but to paraphrase Feargal Sharkey, a good street goat these days is hard to find. They’re out there, mostly around the mosques. Now that my motorbike runs without me having to constantly swear at it, I should head to the edges of Phnome Penh and cover Phnom Penh’s halal scene.

    Coincidentally, my Khmer workmates said exactly the same thing about the Chaly. I’m perpetually amazed that my website is of any interest at all to Khmer locals.

  19. I think that buddha may have ingested one too may happy pizzas.
    I was only in cambodia for a few weeks but I didn’t find too many chillies in the cuisine-I miss that after thailand.

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