The Lord works in mysterious ways. This simple but profound truth we can take
as a given. A lessor known fact of life is that the Phnom Penh phone system is one
of the wonders of the world, such that when you pick up the receiver you can often
hear other people's phone conversations clear as a bell.
One recently overheard call involved an American missionary gal phoning back to the
States to chat with her pal Amy. Despite being "too consumed with God"
the caller did have a few gripes about missing some of the basic American nutritional
necessities of life during her tenure in Cambodia.
Of course, this is entirely understandable because everyone knows that American cuisine
is second only to that of Great Britain for its richness, diversity and the general
subtlety of culinary preparation.
So, anyway, the caller said she missed American food so much and was only eating
rice and chicken every day. Amy pined in sympathy, "Oh no!"
High on the list of delicacies longed for were "Taco Bell and potato chips".
In light of this dilemma, the Master of the Universe has asked the Gecko to pass
on the following crucial information: There is no Taco Bell in Cambodia but if all
goes well one might be constructed in the not too distant future. MacDonalds and
Burger King should be coming too. Moreover, as a sign of Cambodian reconstruction,
gout medicine is now available on the local market.
In the meantime, please check out the Seven/Seven Supermarket. They have a great
little product for sale called "Taco Dinner" which includes 12 taco shells,
sauce and seasoning in conveniently labeled packets. The recyclable, bright red package
notes with relish "takes the work out of making delicious tacos...great as a
snack or main course for lunch or dinner." Holy burrito, what more could you
All you have to do is add beef, lettuce, tomato and cheese (all available at the
market), follow the easy-to-read instructions on the back of the package, and - presto
- you'll be in taco heaven in two shakes of a lamb's tail. As far as potato chips,
alas, you'll have to settle for Pringles or corn chips which certainly can't replace
a good Ruffles With Ridges, but aren't a bad second.
So, Praise the Lord and pass the salsa!
** This important final note: the gecko will be on vacation for the next two
issues. Anybody in their right mind who reads the above will agree that he's long
overdue for one.