Living in Cambodia means that you sign up for a certain set of not-so-awesome things. One of those things is tummy problems. I will spare you the details (because…ew) but I have been sick more times in the last three years than I have in the ten years before. Despite the very clear message that Cambodia is trying to kill me, I am still here. Come at me, bacteria.
I took a sick day yesterday, and it feels different than being sick back home. First, it’s not cold. Today in Phnom Penh, it’s going to be 89 degrees, which I know sounds like a brag for those of you stuck in sleet and slush and the other worst parts of winter that I barely remember, but it’s not. At least when I am sick at home, I can cozy up with blankets and drink tea and feel cozy. Second, the go-to comfort items when I am sick in the States are not all readily available here. So in effort to provide a window into my incredibly exciting life, these are the things I depend on when my mom can’t bring me soup and make everything better.
These might be the most important export of Canada. Tiff brought them for me after her last trip home, and I wear them as much as possible, even while not confined to the house as a nasty germ monster. They are super cozy, despite washing a bunch of times and they actually fit exactly how sweatpants should: low rise, baggy crotch and long enough to go under my heels. They also have this hilarious cell phone pocket that dangles inside and you can flip it outside so everyone knows you have a sweet secret pocket. They are the Queen of all Sweats.
I started eating congee when I was living in New York. My friend Alex, who is much cooler than I am, was also living in the city at the time and would always have a great new place to eat. On one particularly cold January day, he took me to Congee Village in the lower east side, and I think we ordered seven things between the two of us. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, congee is a delicious rice soup with salty (usually chicken) broth, and then you can add in whatever else you want. It’s a helluva lot easier to get congee in Cambodia than my mom’s chicken noodle soup, so that is basically all I have been eating.
I’m sure most TV shows would fit in this spot, but Downton is just better when sick. Maybe its Maggie Smith, or lady Mary’s hair, or looking at all the pretty dresses, or the banter, or the ongoing saga of wether or not Edith will ever have one good day. Whatever it is about the show, it’s a perfect distraction from feeling gross. It’s probably Maggie Smith. I just finished season 5, and I know everything that happens. That’s right America, everything.
Usually, I don’t love incense. It’s too strong or sweet or too patchouli. While I was in DC over the holidays, I picked up this Firewood incense at Salt & Sundry, and that cozy feeling that I miss in the winter months, comes right back with it. Having it burning when I don’t feel great makes the day a little better.
I used to have ginger ale as a kid when I was sick, and as an adult, I normally don’t drink soda. Adding this syrup to tea or soda water feels the tiniest bit indulgent, and the ginger also helps out with settling my stomach.
Off to lunch now with Tiff and attempting solid foods. Very exciting day.
Photo by Fashion and Style