Saturday, September 3, 2011

Iced Coffee

I am such a master of the Cambodian language (Khmer) that I can now order iced coffee for my boyfriend and myself. "Pbee cafe d-doh gore d-goh" (where the oh is a sharp 'o' as in 'hot', sorry but proper phonetic spelling confuses me). It translates to two coffees with milk and ice. Unfortunately I mastered this at exactly the same time as the girl at the hospital cafeteria memorised our drink order, and now she doesn't even let me finish.

So in Kep this weekend, I saw a street vendor and seized the chance to prove myself. I knew it was all going to come down to my amazing Khmer when the girl greeted me with "hello sir", and I announced that I would like "pbee cafe d-doh gore d-goh". Seeing that I was alone, her male assistant held up one finger and asked if I would like "pbee" (two) or, holding up two fingers, "pbee" (two). I held up two fingers and said that I would like pbee. Two.

Then she made an iced coffee without milk and I quickly cut in and said "d-doh gore" (milk). In English she replied "you are getting a different one. With milk" and handed the black coffee to someone else.

Then she made me two iced coffees without milk and got all annoyed when I asked her to put milk in them.

Back to the hospital cafeteria for me.

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