Big Girl Party

Monday morning I went diving again.  I have to say, the 9 o’clock dive is a great way to start a day.  It’s not particularly exerting, though I do still seem to be still the next day (though I am beginning to think that is related to the mattress I sleep on).  Getting out onto a boat early, and then into the water around 10:30 is also great.  The water is cool when you are 15 meters under the sea, which can be a nice change of pace from the surface.There are only a handful of things that you can say once you are under water with hand gestures, which is fine.  I ended up seeing some big fish this time.  I saw two types of predators: 3 barracuda, and a sheer fish.  I only saw the tail side of the sheer fish though because it ducked around a corner as we approached.  I also saw some other exotic fish: 2 lobsters, 2 lion fish, and a papa fish.  The lion fish looks like a cross between a porcupine and a fish.  I’m told they are very poisonous as well.  The papa fish is fairly distinct–most fish I’ve seen are fairly flat.  The papa fish has a big fat head.  I think it also has a lot more fins as well.

Typically the first thing I want to do after the boat gets back is run straight to the bathroom.  I’m not sure, but I think all that pressure from the dive goes straight to my bladder.  After the dive the guys at Poseidon wanted me to pay for y lesson, which was fine.  All in all it cost $400, not the $280 or whatever I thought before–the price was in Euros.

That evening I caught up with my cousin Ranji, who was at his friend’s daughter’s ‘Big Girl Party.’  It was explained to me that this party happens when a girl reaches her womanhood, which I thought meant she was old enough to marry.  While this is (or was) accurate, I found out the next day from Jane that by womanhood they actually meant she got her period.  To celebrate this momentous occasion all the men (young and old) get smashed and dance with each other while the women watch, presumably while looking for potential prospects for themselves or the daughters.

As Danarathna and I arrived, we initially passed the party and went straight to the next house where Ranji and his friends were drinking arrack.  As the bottle dwindled to a finish, Ranji started to make the motions to join the main party.  Two boys stared at the bottle, intent on finishing it.  Another boy stood off to the side, more drunk then the rest of us with a new bottle of arrack pressed between his hand and leg.  I’m not completely sure what he said, but it was something along the lines of, ‘Don’t worry there’s more drinking to come.’

At the party we cut through the dance floor, and headed straight for the back where some of the older men were drinking, and we put our top lip back into some arrack.  Someone brought over a bowel of this peanut curry that was basically just pan fried peanuts (soaked in water first), and crushed red chillie peppers.  I have to say it was absolutely delicious.

After a while we went over to where the food was and got some rice and curry.  After I was done, someone brought out some ice cream, and then something really weird happened: one of my cousin’s friend started to try to feed me ice cream from his cup.  After a while of failing to explain that I already had ice cream, he said something along the lines of, ‘we are good friends, so we share food.’  I’ve found that sometimes over here it is easier to just go along with someone then fight them tooth and nail (example: someone is offering food.  Take a little, and then say you are done).  It quickly became apparent that he was not just trying to stuff one spoonful of ice cream into my mouth, but as much of his ice cream as was possible ( as far as I can tell he was sincere about this being a friendship thing).  And if that wasn’t enough, there was another of Ranji’s friend on my other side also was trying to feed me ice cream.  I needed to figure out how to get out of that mess.  Mustering all the thinking power that my arrack laden brain had to spare, I determined that the easiest way out of this mess was to make my ice cream disappear, and walk away.  And the easiest way to make my ice cream disappear was not to eat it, because I already had ice cream coming in from all directions.  The easiest was was to return force feed these kids my ice cream.  Since they had two mouths to my one bowl, as opposed to 2 bowels to my one mouth, I was done twice as fast as they were.

After, the boys wanted to dance with me.  They remembered all too well my raver and c-walking ways  from 6 years ago.  I have to say, dancing to 120 bpm music is enough to work up a sweat (at least if you are going to hit every beat), but doing it in flip flops on gravel after an indiscriminate amount of liquor makes it some serious work.  Fortunately being good at dancing with people means you can get away from them also.  I would twirl my arm to break their grip if anyone tried to grab me, or roll up one knee before stepping back if anyone tried to bump and grind.

I got back to my Dad’s house around 123, and went in the side door.  Later I found out that my aunt stayed up until 2:30 waiting for me to come home, at which point she walked over to Kumari’s (Ranji’s wife) house to figure out where we were, and why we didn’t come home for dinner.  I felt terrible, but both Ranji and Danarothna broke out laughing when they found out.

January 25, 2010 • Tags: , • Posted in: Vacation

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