Wednesday, February 28, 2007

always look on the briiight side of life

life back in sri lanka is a different ball game. most of the time i lose a grip and drop the ball. the game isn't lighthearted anymore, it is serious stuff.

you know that you are back in srilanka when various experiences ring alternate bells in your head:
when a candle is an item of necessity for frequent power cuts, and not often an item of decoration for a dinner table.
when the wind blows and it blows you hot air.
when you switch on the fan and it circulates the warmth instead of ushering in the cool.
when you have fruit that actually tastes of something, and is brightly coloured.
when a pineapple is a foot long and orange inside.
when a papaw is 2 kilos in weight and sweet as honey.
when home remedies for warts is papeine from papaw.
when golden beetles come and settle down on you in a gesture of friendship.
when geckos fall off the ceiling onto your bed in the throes of mating rituals or territorial fights.
when you have to leap off your bed to rescue a wee little gecko from a devouring adult gecko.
when you find ants appearing at the drop of a grain of sugar.
when snakes trip across the path.
when the iguana visits your garden and stares thoughtfully at you.
when the sun shines and forgets to go away.
when the buses are mostly shove and push, screeching of breaks and insane blarings of horns.
when the water you use is warm and not freezing cold.
when you have four showers a day. cold.
when you start counting in rupees and still the cost of things seem ridiculously high.
when people smile at you on the road and are friendly.
when children are content with little or with nothing.
when children are always smiling - even if they are in rags.
when people are smiling, even if they are living under a canvas sheet on the street.
when white people are accosted on the street.
when you see a paradise flycatcher fly past with a glorious white tail.
when the sound of the mynah birds wake you up in the morning.
when your toes become dusty if you walk down the street.
when you have to wash your clothes every time you wear them.
when your hair dries before you can come out of the shower.
when wearing a cloth tied around you is the coolest you can feel.
when you wear wet cloths and don't feel the wet or the cold.
when tv programmes are all with the american drawl.
when cnn blares out in the guise of "news".
when extended family think they have the right to tell you how to run your life, decorate your house and spend your money.
when the neighbours' dogs leave little stinky piles for people to tread on.
when neighbours' dogs spend half the night barking outside your house.
when neighbours's dogs chase you down the street trying to nip your ankles and no one bothers to stop them.
when you get your salary and you suddenly wake up to the fact that take home pay is hardly taken home - it finishes on the way there.
when internet is a luxury that you have to travel for an hour to access.
when a computer is something that you can't really afford.
when you wear sandals and never have to switch to boots.
when a jersey is "too hot" even in cold climate.
when friendship includes the fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles etc...of your friend.
when dogs and cats lie on the road looking forlorn and hot.
when a dogs life really means a dogs life.
when your privacy levels have suddenly shot up and you suddenly seem to have none.
when the "unkwown" neighbours on the road enquire as to whether you are married, whether you have found a member of the opposite sex to yoke up with.
when cats walk into your house and spray their territory on your tables and chairs.
when female cats and dogs are spayed and the males are left to excercise their god-given right for mating and procreation.
when a designer label has absolutely no meaning or value.
when a high street label is of no significance and may be sold on the pavement for 50p.
when air conditioning is like stepping into heaven.
when one carries a wet towel like arthur dent, and a bottle of large iced water.
when the buses give one compulsory entertainment at a million decibels.
when clothes are washed and dried in half an hour.
when kitchens are for utility and not for display.
when floors are uncarpeted but cool to the feet during the day.
when the sea is warm and you can bathe in it at 8pm at night.
when sunsets are spectacular and colour the sky.

when life is just so different....