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    Joe to go, when low-cost means solidarity in Cambodia

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    Pau Monfort

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    Anyone who is preparing to perform a tourist trip to Cambodia he then prepares to visit the magnificence of the temples of Angkor Wat, staying overnight in the nearest town, Siem Reap. Strolling through the chaotic streets and lanes of this town, among hundreds of "Tuc-tuc" whizzing before the eyes or ringing in the ears, between a shower of rain and the other, between the polychromy of the oilskin worn by motorbike drivers and the polyphony of voices, between the smells of roasted meat and spices that float in the air at all hours of the day and night, you will inevitably find yourself near the old market.

    And just to the north / west of the market, behind the Caffè Centrale, your eyes, your ears and your nostrils will find rest. Thanks to a hidden place to most people, open seven days a week: Joe to go Restaurant and Boutique. Joe to go you discover it only by entering it, when you cross the threshold and you seem to find what you had already seen in Paris, but too expensive, and what you have already seen elsewhere in Indochina, but not with this refinement. And that's when you notice the clothes and accessories attached to the restaurant walls. Now that you think about it: is the boutique all here? Then you see the stairs, the “beau fou boutique” arrow pointing upstairs and, of course, go up. And that's when a world really opens up for you, Beau Fou in the literal sense: necklaces and jewelry boxes in colored silk, wooden fans with an unusual shape, similar to pinwheels. And colors, many colors: red and purple, yellow and green. And again Parisian-like dresses, purses and handbags, notebooks, business card holders covered in silk and so on and so forth.

    A prices from the eighties. But the most surprising thing is to discover that all this is fair trade, handcrafted by Cambodian boys and girls and their families in need, "picked up from the street" byThe Global Child association, from this schooled and then routed to work. And here, if you look closely, even the guys on the ground floor who are at the counter of the café-restaurant are really very young. And also the shop assistant on the upper floor. Tasting Joe To Go's restaurant foods (exceptional, in its mix of the sophisticated exoticism of Asian flavors with the reassuring familiarity of Western ones) and purchasing items from his boutique helps to pursue The Global Child's mission. And to feel less guilty about shopping.

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