Archive for December, 2003

Drunken Madness

This is a guest entry by my sister.

Where to start?  Hmm… well I was sleeping (granted it was a bit early) when I was awaken by activity in the dining room.  Normally I wouldn’t have left my room, but I heard my brother (Ben) out there too so I figured it would be safe.  Out in the dining froom I discovered my brother with Ranji’s friends.  THere were 7 people all together.  Everyone was drinking and eating snacks and having a good time.  It was their little “pre-disco” party.  The highlight of this story is one of Ranji’s friends, Asanka.  He seemed like a nice guy.  Oh and he was, but with a couple of drinks in him… whew!  He kept talking about his friend “Rasta Man” (he is called this because he likes Bob Marley). Asanka would tell this story about “Rasta Man” every 5-10 minutes like we all hadn’t heard it before.  He also kept inviting me to the disco.  Everytime I told him no. 5-10 minutes later in between his story about “Rasta Man” he’d ask me again.  Now I haven’t been around too many drunken men in the past, but this time was enough for my whole life.

December 24, 2003 • Tags: , • Posted in: Vacation • No Comments

Strange Cultures

We came back from town, and no one had eaten (though I didn’t realize this).  My stomach has been fickle recently so I wasn’t that hungry.  I think it has to do with the fact that I’m used to only eating twice a day with something small in the morning.  Everyone has been trying to feed me all the time here.  We ate a little later and after dinner Brittni and I talked at the table for a bit.  After we wandered off they (my aunts and grandmother, ed.) swooped in on the table and started eating.  This is when I realized that they weren’t eating with us not because they were eating at a different time because we were all screwed up because of jet lag, but because they culturally ate after the head of the family (or the guests, or the men.  I’m not really sure since Ranji was hesitant to eat with us as well).

The next day I talked to my dad about eating together.  We ate lunch with my grandmother and ranji.  I tried to thank my grandmother for eating with us, but it took quite a feat of translation to finally get the message across.  I’m not sure how the culture shock went down with them, but we will see if my attempt to equal out the social class will stick.

December 23, 2003 • Tags: , • Posted in: Vacation • No Comments

Fishing with Dynamite

Today Ranji (my cousin) took me and my sister and some of his friends fishing with dynamite.  I went ’cause, well “What else are you going to do?” to quote my sister.  We walked down some roads, which I would call paths.  We got to someone’s house and met up with some more people, and then left through the back yard on what really was paths.  We split up and Ranji took us up on top of a jungled hill that overlooked the river.  He left us with his shirt and bracelet and wandered off with his friends.  For a couple moments Brittni and I joked about getting ditched in the jungle, but then we saw them wading out into the river.  I climbed up into a tree so I could see better.  Someone (I couldn’t really figure out who was who from that far away) climbed up onto a rock, lit the dynamite and tossed it into the water.  A couple seconds later the water jettisoned up maybe 5 feet.  They swam around looking for some dead fish, and after a while came back to get us.  With 3 dead fish in hand we started walking home.  On the way home someone climbed into a tree and tossed down a bunch of coconuts.  They were hacked open and passed around for water.

When it was just Ranji, Brittni and I tried to explain how fishing with dynamite is bad for the fish.  I’m not sure if he understood what I was syaing.  Later I explained to my dad, and he in return explained to Ranji (I think, who knows what my Dad said to him.  He’s a poor translator sometimes).  I think my dad agreed with me, but I’m not sure if Ranji did.

December 22, 2003 • Tags:  • Posted in: Vacation • No Comments

Xmas?

I somehow feel cheated.  I’ve made it to Sri Lanka, and yet xmas is still here.  I thought I could escape it.  All the way to my grandmother’s house we saw people selling inflatable Santa dolls, and even some pine trees.  This is a TROPICAL ZONE.  DECIDUOUS TREES DO NOT GROW HERE. They were playing xmas music on the radio (granted not a lot).

December 22, 2003 • Posted in: Vacation • No Comments

Airport Mayhem

We arrived at Heathrow aiport at ~8AM, about 1 hour late.  We left terminal 3 by bus to go to terminal 4 where we could get our boarding passes for Air Sri Lanka, on our way to our final destination of Columbo.

We discovered after trying to get our boarding passes that the virgin airlines attendant who took Brittni’s ticket stub accidentally took the wrong one.  As a result we had to return to terminal 3 where the Virgin Atlantic booth was.  This is where things began falling apart.

My Dad was feeling lazy because he overpacked his carry on, and did not feel like dragging it over to the other terminal.  As a result he sent Brittni and myself as an emmisary to the Virgin Atlantic booth.  We left around 10 AM.

We returned to terminal 3 by bus.  Upon arriving at the Virgin Atlantic booth, we waited in a line for two hours–let me explain how the line (or queue) worked.  In front of the counter, there was a sub standard maze of poles and canvas connectors.  The maze consisted of 2 or 3 segments placed seemingly at random.  The queue stretched across the walkway.  At any given point they were calling out the names of cities, and people would push in front of the line from the back because the needed to leave Now!  It started out with “San Fran”, “Miami”, and later on “Tokyo”, etc.  When I heard them repeat “Miami” again and we hadn’t moved more then 2 feet I felt very disheartened.

Finally we got to the front of the line and we were told they did not have the correct paperwork to reprint Brittni’s ticket, but that they could get more in “10 minutes”.  They gave us meal vouchers and sent us away.  Upon returning they seemingly ignored us for 30 minutes, and then handed us the appropriate paperwork.

While trying to return to terminal 4 we discovered that there was an accident in the bus tunnel, and we could not take the bus back to terminal 4.  We were told we had to take the Heathrow express to get there which lay outside of Customs.

At security I saw a cute brown girl.  This was pretty amazing because I am not usually into brown girls.  Our eyes met and I could tell that she felt the same way.  We watched each other a couple times now and again while we went through security, but after that I lost her.

So we got through customs, and took the heathrow express to the terminal D.  We were unfortunately on the wrong side of the advanced security measures.  After locating my Dad through the information desk (the man there was very funny.  I remember him saying to my dad, “I have your kids.  THey have lost you and are looking for you), we got our boarding passes with the help of the infodesk guy.

This was when  I learned that there is an express lane through security check points.  They gave us a special sticker on our boarding pass and we cruised past everyone.  My dad found us on the other side.

December 21, 2003 • Posted in: Vacation • No Comments