Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Flying Grasshopper

It was a particularly humid night at the Mt Lavinia beach resturant. It was a private gathering with a lavish buffet and cocktails. A characteristic 3 person calypso band was playing in the background. The mood was set.

Then came the cocktails. There were several options but the “flying grasshopper” caught my attention. Perhaps it was the curious name, but then again most cocktails do have ‘em. Perhaps it was the fact that I have never tried it before, or maybe just that I was told there was ice-cream in it.

I gladly selected the martini glass filled to the brim with light-bluish liquid called the flying grasshopper. Took once sip and wished to God that I hadn’t. It tasted like the blue coloured listerine mouthwash. I ain’t kidding. For the next hour I was cursing the person who invented this cocktail and the guy or girl who selected it for the event – what were they thinking?

Next time I will stick to Margeritas.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Grade four Independence

Picture this.

My seven year old is almost falling asleep on the toilet seat. The time is barely 5.45am. Still pitch dark outside. It was my turn to get her ready for school this morning. She is supposed to leave home by 6.30am.

“Thaththi..” she says,..”I don’t feel so good this morning…”
I know this routine,.. “Ok darling, what did you forget this time?”
She sobs quietly and says,…”Teacher asked us to read up on the National Day,.. but I completely forgot thaaaaththiiii……”.

Did she say “read”? Not “write”?… no problem,.. I can handle this on my own,.. no need to wake the general I thought.

“Ok darling,.. no need to be upset, this is what you do,.. while you are brushing your teeth, try memorising a few sentences”. Sure, I can handle this, no sweat! But in my peripheral vision, I could see her giving me a puzzeled look.

“We celebrate independence day on the 4th of February”
“Independence day marks the end of British rule over Sri Lanka and handing over the control of the country to it’s people” (let’s not go there)
“This year we celebrated the 61st independence day”
“We watched the military parade on the TV on our independence day”
“Our president gave a speech on the independence day”

“Thaththi,.. why does the president have to talk? Band music is much better”.

“That’ll do darling, let’s memorise the first four sentences only”. It was already 6.05am. Chop Chop!!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Busy, are we?

I had some visitors over the other day. They are here in Sri Lanka on a holiday (Remember holidays? We used to go on them when we could take some time off from work?). They once lived here in Sri Lanka but now call Austraaaalia (did I get the accent right?) home.

We were catching up and reminiscing over dinner when one of the visitors said, “Hey guys, why don’t we go on a trip to Udawalawe?”. For those who are wondering “WTF?”, Udawalawe is a national wild life sanctuary in the southern region of Sri Lanka and is known for its abundance of wildlife, especially Elephants. Back in the day, a trip to Udawalawe to watch the Elephants and very often get chased by one or two, was a regular event on our annual calendar,.. sometimes even bi-annual.

I thought it was a great idea and immediately started thinking of possible date – especially a weekend. I was thinking “Hmm,.. lets see,.. next Saturday I will have to take R for her fit-on at the dressmaker, Sunday I have to attend P’s wedding,.. how about the following weekend?.. I guess that Saturday too is out as I promised….”

I guess I must have been thinking out loud, as my friend from OZ said, “What’s with you guys (I guess he mean us Sri Lankans, now that he is not one of “us”) these days? So many appointments and shit? Can’t you make a snap decision and take time off from work anymore? I was thinking of going on this trip tomorrow or day after,.. not next weekend”.

He was genuinely puzzled. But here’s the thing,… it never occurred to me that I was being too organized. I always thought of myself to be a spur-of-the-moment kinda guy. Maybe living in Sri Lanka, especially in Colombo, have made me something else?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

An afternoon at the game

There were good points and bad.

Papare’ bands were out on force. And they were playing continuously too. Not like at school big-matches where they play for 10 minutes and break for 30. The hot-dogs were excellent and they were being cooked then and there. None of these finger-thin sausages, they were proper mega ones. There was plenty of chilled beer too. Both food and drinks were being brought right to your seats – brilliant.

On the bad side, there was only one brand of beer. And they came only in cans – the men with beer-backpacks were nowhere to be seen. And you were right Dilan, no dancing girls at all. Well, let me rephrase that – no organized dancing girls.

Oh, I almost forgot. As far as the cricket went, we got a real arse whipping hiding from the Indians. We looked like school boys - they were just playing with us.

As they say, a picture can paint a thousand words. So let this one taken from my phone cam sum-up the afternoon for you.