Sichuan – in all of China, even internationally, this province is lauded for its tasty and, most of all, spicy cuisine. But who could be able to decide on even a handful of dishes when presented with this spectrum of varied delicacies. How about a grilled chicken foot? A light green glibbery weirdness or rather a brown lard rind repulsiveness? Whatever it shall be, don’t forget to round it off with a lot of chili! Yes, life can be a bitch, especially when you have to choose. But fear not: For the indecisive among you wanting to relinquish undefinable animal parts once in a while, sagesex has composed an exclusive seasonal menu.
Before we start you should be sure to have a bowl of rice at your disposal. Admitted, this will dampen the intensity of enjoyment, yet you will soon realize the necessity of this precautionary measure. In order to prevent the rice from being to boring, we recommend mixing it with an equal amount of beans with pork and, of course, fresh red chili. So much for the side dishes. But what’s for dinner?
Proteins are in order – so take some of the funny brown-crusty tofu brick. But Sichuan means spicy – so don’t forget the mountain of dried red chili piled upon it! Next we need some vegetables for the vitamins … How about a plate full of whole, fried, hot-as-hell green chilis? – delicious! Because the whole thing is a little one-sided like this, we recommend adding a plate of Chilis of mixed skin color with a touch of brown weirdnesses. Well done, now that’s a well-rounded meal. Sichuan experts know: Chili goes especially well with chili and chili. Enjoy your meal!
It is a demon that numbs our senses, and its power is impossible to overthrow until you throw up. It is on the five continents and the seven seas. Alcohol is the universal language; this has now been confirmed by dermatologists. In South East Asia it doesn’t just make the hearts of the locals beat slower: Be it on Ko Panghan in Thailand, in Nha Trang, Vietnam, or Vang Vieng in Laos – entire tourist party hells live off continuous irrigation by overpriced bars. But stop! It doesn’t have to be like that! Already in the past sagesex has proven that South East Asia offers festive inebriation in price ranges below any budget – at least for those with a tough stomach. Which means looking for a compromise: Good and affordable is what counts! After half a year of experience in this part of the world sagesex is ready to present the ultimate guide to almost free intoxication in South East Asia: The top three in affordable and enjoyable alcoholica.
It should be well-known that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So sweet cakes, white bread or similar calorie sins poor in nutrients are out of the question for energetic travellers. But fear not: South East Asia has a special delicacy in store for your active lifestyle. Born in Vietnam, with South East Asia firmly in its grip already, the breakfast for true champions is about to conquer the world: Pho.
So, you wussie; been smoking too much again today? Been drinking a few glasses even though you promised to be the driver? Thinking about sex all day again? But it’s not your fault. You can’t do a thing when the addiction comes up. Or can you? Of course you can. So listen up closely to the following three principles that will help you poor victim mastering your life.
In order to break your ego completely and get you in the mood for rebuilding please listen to my old friend Gisbert zu Knyphausen.
The first thing you’re going to do now is reformulating your problems. You are not addicted to anything nor dependent, you are simply doing it a lot. You don’t have to do anything, you don’t need it, but you do it. Having to, needing, addiction, dependency: All words that only serve to cover up your weakness. In this first step it is important to take full responsibility for your actions. It’s not the addiction doing anything, it’s you! You are the one that acts. You are always the highest authority. You keep the cards in your hand, the cigarette, and the glass. Formally, this alone vanquishes the addiction already. Yet these are just words, changing your behavior takes a little more.
Watch yourself. Watch what you are doing, how you are doing it and look for reasons. Even though most people are idiots, it can do no harm adjusting yourself to the rest of the world from time to time in order to forestall drifting off completely. Why did you drink last night in spite of everything? Because all your friends started drinking and you couldn’t resist it, or because otherwise you could not have borne sitting alone in the corner? Or is nothing coming to your mind? Think about it. If you feel base motives why not punish yourself a little. Torture yourself and your body by not doing what it says. Use stick and carrot. You can get used to everything. Even withdrawal can be addictive.
Accepting is key. Accept that you have a hard time getting into this way of thinking. Accept that it takes you a long time. Accept that your body is resisting. It is used to your old way of thinking and has to be gradually persuaded. Sometimes you satisfy his craving, sometimes you don’t. Someday you will both be used to the fact that moments of pleasure come and go. That you don’t have to force them. In its core this way of thinking is very similar to abundance mentality, even leading into the direction of enlightenment. A big piece of wisdom that you can put into practice right now.
Cambodia should be a gourmet’s paradise: It’s situated between Vietnam and Thailand, two representatives of internationally renowned super cuisines. Our cooking class with Smokin’ Pot in Battambang kept us wanting more as well. Wonderful curries, not as spicy as in Thailand nor as subtle as Vietnam, but very smooth and delicious. The national specialty “Volcano/Fire Mountain”, for which you fry carpaccio marinated in peanut sauce on a kind of turned-over pasta strainer over an open gas light, truly delighted us as well.
Slowly but surely I’m becoming a smoker. It’s not my fault. Cambodia is to blame. But let’s start at the beginning.
It started when we had to buy cigarettes for rolling joints. Because we couldn’t find any loose tobacco. By the way, you have to use yucky newsprint paper for rolling here. Anyway, we realized that Cambodia has the cheapest cigarettes on earth: They start at 500 Riel, which is not even €0.10! For a whole pack! In Germany they cost about 50 times that much! Admitted, it’s rough stuff, but that just makes it worse. Moreover, as a former non-smoker I have no idea how a “good” cigarette would taste. I used to find them all disgusting.
Then, the nicest people invite us for smoking here all the time. Everybody smokes. It’s not as if there’s a lot to talk since everytime we try to learn Khmer our brain explodes and hardly anyone speaks English. Plus, the people here don’t seem to talk much anyway. Cambodia is the kingdom of enjoyable boredom. So you sit around, drink a beer, and smoke.
Yet the final blow came with our latest guest house room. Luxury class – including our own bathroom. The drawback to the luxury is that in truth it’s just a john with a head high separation wall to the tiny room, so that you get to experience fully all the noises and smells. Thus Julian’s idea of always smoking one of those cigarettes we already owned anyway when shitting. An ingenious idea. But what a powerful conditioning. Only too quickly you get used to this comfortable habit. I just hope we’ll find a shared bathroom in Pnohm Phen.
Maybe it’s too late already. Now and then I catch myself feeling I want a cigarette. I could have never imagined this a while ago. This country is truly vicious. Well, at least I hope to get rid of the coffee addiction I acquired in Thailand – because Khmer coffee is certainly the most repulsive one in the whole wide world.
Sagesex is always there for you when it’s time to determine the best things in the world. Just like all other things, old temples must be compared in a fair way. Until today there was no reliable, scientific method for that. But now sagesex presents the new popular sport temple tasting. Because only its taste can safely decide the quality of a temple. And only quality brings fun.
1. Angkor Wat
Let us start with the supposedly best and biggest temple in the world. Where should you start sampling in that? In order to ensure a maximally accurate comparison of the temples, we decided on an ornament that appears in all the temples we tested. The one that would offer the most rewarding tasting experience in my professional opinion. So it was that in the last minute the hot candidate lion’s ass fell through against the bust of an Apsara (tempel dancer). After all, we have to live up to our name.
So how does Angkor Wat taste? Impeccable! Smooth and round on the palate, almost imperceptible repulsiveness, hardly any crumbs, sand, or decay. Clear and well-defined. Astonishing after 800 years. This temple can indeed be recommended to every serious temple taster. But is this all there is? What can the competition do?
2. Ta Prohm
This decayed jungle temple is a perfect allegory for the vanity of all being. Andreas Gryphius would have been ecstatic. Maybe it’s also popular because Tomb Raider was shot here. Now how does it taste? Astonishing – the taste perfectly mirrors the decay! Repulsiveness and rancidity, as well as the crumbling sandstone leave an unpleasing, dusty old aftertaste on the tongue. The optimum consumption time for this temple is clearly over. Only for enthusiastic connaisseurs and fans of neglected aging.
3. Phnom Krom
Pnohm Krohm is the outsider in our tempel tasting test. It’s not in the Angkor park proper, but on a hill on the other side of Siem Reap. That is why it offers an enchanting view onto the huge Tonle Sap lake and the setting sun. The temples themselves are original and majestic, too. However, we’re not here for the view. Outer beauty is ubiquitous. The taste is what counts.
The huge mildew spots on the only Apsara on the temple that has not yet been stolen don’t make for high hopes. Indeed, the repulsiveness of this breast is enormous. Sandy and stale it spreads on the tongue and I was anxious to get rid of the aftertaste. Ew! Disgusting! This temple is no good in terms of taste.
The Sagesex Angkor Temple Tasting yields a clear picture: The fame of Angkor Wat is deserved. No other temple tastes so fresh and so clean. While Ta Prohm might constitute some kind of specialty for friends of decay, Pnohm Krohm can only be recommended to perverted mildew fetishists. We’re glad we haven’t paid for this one. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to taste Bayon, the central tempel that to me seems clearly ahead in terms of holiness. If one of you ever happens to get the chance, we look forward to a tasting report.
We thought we had found a truly cheap and disgusting drink in a so-called Thai whisky (rather something like Thai rum, but they call anything whisky) without any latin writing on the soft drink bottles it comes in for about 70 Baht (about $2). Cambodia proved us wrong: