Archive for January, 2010


Political Adventures in Cycling

I was bored yesterday afternoon. I had exhausted all my usual methods of keeping busy such as stoning kids playing in front of my house and killing prostitutes in GTA 4. The first because they’d taken to playing somewhere else and the second because my monitor is broken.

So I sat there, looking out the window at the stretch of road in front of my house, and suddenly a kid rushes past in a bicycle. She turns around, shakes the pink ribbons hanging from the handlebars at me and rides off again. I was intrigued. I went outside, concealing a cricket bat under my shirt. I went around the corner and crouched behind a bush to lie in wait. The lady next door passes by, looks at me and starts throwing stones. I holler at her to get lost, harpy.

The little girl comes around the corner and I jump out in her direction and bring out the bat, aiming swiftly for the head… Of the man who had jumped out of the bushes across the street. I whisper “Sorry, Halik”, and go over to the little girl, who is by now quite shocked. “You’re safe now, here, have a cricket bat”. “Thank you mister, *giggle*”. She gets back on her bike and is about to set off. I push her off the seat, grab the bike and run away, laughing like a maniac.

Back at home I was inspecting my prize. I imagined cruising along Marine Drive at night, showing off my ride to the racers gathered there. But it was a short lived fantasy, for the little girl’s mother came over and started banging on the door asking for the bike back. I cursed and threw it out the window, yelling “It’s wasted on her! You’re spoiling her!”. My fragile ego was badly in need of some wind rushing through its hair.

So instead of sulking around the house again I borrowed a friend’s bike and set off. I had no clear idea where to. Eventually I got to a place selling king coconuts, so I stopped and asked the vendor to cut one up for me. While drinking it, he said “So the election’s coming up. Hope that criminal Candidate A doesn’t win”. I go “Yeah totally, can’t imagine what would happen”. He goes on “Candidate B is the only true leader this country has! He has no competition from the other fellow”. So I say “Of course! Did you know I have a poster of Candidate B on the wall next to my bed?”

After cycling for another half hour, I come to a junction and stop to ask directions from a three wheeler park. They’re in a heated debate about the presidency. I ask “This road leads to Pamunuwila, yeah?”. The guy says “Okay let’s ask this guy here! Dude, don’t you think Candidate A is the right choice for this country? We need change, everyone knows that!”. I reply with “Indeed. I pray to god that Candidate A wins every night before I sleep”. “There’s a good fella! This country needs more people like you”. I wholeheartedly agreed, from the bottom of my heart. I couldn’t have agreed more to that sentence if I was a bobblehead in Agreeville selling agreements.

It turned out that road did lead where I wanted it to. I ended up at the place where I usually repair the cycle, and waited in line while the man there fixed someone else’s bike. They were deep in conversation. Thankfully it was cricket.


The Brief, Yet Definitive Guide to Jaffna

The Food

The first thing we did when we got to Jaffna was eat. Do not do this. You will find mediocre fish and mutton thrown at you and get ripped off in translation when 150 in tamil turns into 180 when spoken out loud in English by the cashier. Instead, walk around a bit, weigh your options, look around for places that sell things like paratas or fried rice. The freshness of the east coast paratas have spread here as well, and you can’t go wrong with a simple dish of dhal and saambar. If looking for mangoes, look elsewhere. Preferably your back yard if you have a tree. Mangoes round here taste the same as mangoes grown everywhere else. Even the karuthacolumban trees grow in other parts of the island. Like my back yard.

The Scenery

The scenery is one of Jaffna’s strong points. Unfortunately for them it is littered with signs saying “Danger: Landmines” and other such dire warnings like “Warning: Perverts Abound”.  The place is not what you will expect, instead it will be lush and green for the most part, and have palm trees and elephant pass monuments sprinkled around the landscape. You will also see the occasional bullet ridden building but nobody cares about that, yeah?

The People

Are a mixed bag. Just like anywhere else I guess. There will be extremely helpful people and extremely creepy people. They all speak Tamil and only a few speak Sinhalese. Bus conductors are a worthy mention in that they don’t yell quite as offensively as those in Colombo. Instead, they are gentle and soft, like the name “Himal”.

The Beaches

Are awesome. Well, some of them. There are supposed to be a few beaches in Jaffna that are awe-inducing, but we only saw one. Maybe this should be re-titled “The (kinda) Definitive Guide to Jaffna”. Point Pedro will give you the thrill of being at the top of the island, but that fades quickly when you realize India is just above you and most of it is further north from where you are. Casoorina beach was our beach of choice and it looked like a bit of foreign land washed up here during the tsunami. It probably did, seeing how even the locals pronounce the name a half dozen different ways.

The Sights

Are few and afar. There is an old town and fort, an enormous Kovil near Casoorina beach, the Nillady beach near the Navy base at Point Pedro and sometimes, a solar eclipse even. In addition to this, there are a few remote places that just look… awesome.


Go to Jaffna. It is safe and fun to be at now. It also has possibly the beast beach I’ve been to in Sri Lanka. It might take an eternity and half to get thee but trust me, it’s worth it.


Motherless: A Collection of Journal Entries

Day 1
This can’t be that hard. I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again.

Day 2
Besides, my sister and father are still here. Never mind the fact that my sister has to go to work.

Day 3
Breakfast wasn’t on the table when I woke up. Should try waking up later next time. Maybe 10:30 was too early.

Day 4
No lunch today. Had to go out and look for food. I think I can keep this up.

Day 5
I can’t keep this up. I’m going to die!

Day 6
I started looking for a cookbook today. Looked in all the logical places where books are kept. No success yet, going to try other places tomorrow. In other news, the good lady next door suddenly started bringing over lunch for me.

Day 7
Found cookbook. It was in the kitchen. I am totally gonna pwn these recipes.

Day 8
Woe is me, for I was greatly mistaken. My mind cannot grasp the intricacies of these strange concoctions which I am sure an alchemist would balk at creating. I cannot hope to even r3nt, let alone pwn these vile mixtures. If not for the kindness of the lady at of the house next to mine, I would starve.

Day 9
I have taken my search for food to the internet. I have located a chat room dedicated to cooking for young kids. I learnt a few tricks.

Day 10
Exciting day today! Met a strange person on the chat room claiming to be my neighbor; ”sparkle_eyes18” . ‘She’ claimed to like helping people on the internet. Even tried to chat me up. Hah. As if I’d fall prey to some internet pervert. Strangely, the person knew a few useful techniques for quick meals. All the better to lure little kids into his lair, probably. Anyway, this evening I received a message reading “You sound fun! Let’s meet. Your place?”. Not being able to take any more of this parasite, I furiously typed “Not a snowball’s chance in Colombo, creep. I’ve had enough of you and your endless murdering of the innocence of the children in that chat room. Stop preying on young kids and leave us good people be before I report you to the authorities, you hairy old beast!”

Needless to say I will be sleeping very soundly tonight, knowing I may have even saved a few lives.

Day 10
The neighbor didn’t bring over my lunch today. Hope everything’s okay.

Day 11
Terrible news. No free lunch today either. So I went out to buy some and bumped into the lady who lives next door. She gave me a dirty look. I asked her if everything was okay. She replied “I know what you said in that chatroom, boy”. I didn’t know how she found out, but I was glad that news of my good deed had spread.

So I said “Oh that was nothing, though I am a little proud of myself. Somebody had to do it, I guess”. This seemed to anger her, for some reason. “Proud of yourself are you?! I’ll give you something to be proud of you ungrateful cad,” and she hit me with her purse. So I fled the scene. As I was fleeing I heard her yell “I’ll teach you to make fun of my daughter you git!” and then what I think was “She forgot to shave the other day, she’s human too!”

Day 12
I dreamt of ponies last night. Ponies that had been tied to each limb of whoever made me so paranoid about people on the internet, and were instructed to scatter to the four corners of the earth. I’m surviving on water and whatever food I can find around the house. A bit of bread here, a piece of newspaper there. Note to self: Pick pages with the least ink in them.

Day 13
The edges of my vision are starting to go hazy. I see strange creatures in the extremeties.

Day 14
My house is turning into something like a Meth Lab. If I stay awake long enough I start seeing strange things, I feel like there’s plenty here that could get me killed and I’m not too keen on visitors anymore.

Day 15
Friends called today. They were worried because they hadn’t heard from me in a while. “We’re just worried man, we love you”. So I say “I love you too, in a bugger off and never see me again kind of way, man”.

Day 16
I had a dream that my sofa scrambled up the stairs in the middle of the night to try and smother me. I ended up sleeping on the roof. It was fun till the mosquitoes bit all over my parade.

Day 17
Dad took me to a hospital today. I knew he’d try something like this. He never understood. Never understood my pain. I played Eminem all the way there. When we got there I bit the doctor on the arm, kicked him in the crotch and ran away. Found an internet café that stays open nights.

Day 18
Everything’s made out of cushions, man. The world just doesn’t make sense any other way. You ride a platypus to work, make out with a park bench, it all fits in perfectly. Don’t you see the patterns? It’s staring you in the face like an old inkjet printer, looking at you with those big brown eyes going “Please refill my cartridges”. The beginning is neigh. I will paint the streets blue with participation trophies till the people understand what I preach. My sermon will not be denied. This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time. I’ll be back. Yippy ka ay, worthless excuse for a movie!

Fay 18
I really like hoe thisd cellphon battry taste/

3-9987 asdggase
ijibnjk; kjaegiage wuphuwn282[n 2n2

Day 2
Had a really weird dream last night. Recorded it in here. Not sure I’m gonna make it till mom gets back.


The State of the Union

Yet again my mom has gone off to India leaving us to fend for ourselves over here. My brother went along with her too.

Now usually, this wouldn’t have been a problem but now that my sister has to go to work, it means that my dad and I are left to our own devices for breakfast and lunch. This wouldn’t have been so bad if my dad didn’t still subscribe to the college frat boy school of cooking. Every meal is an experiment. Some might say this is a good thing but I think we’re forgetting about the countless experiments that go wrong and produce things like Godzilla, mutated sheep or Papareboy. Any dish that doesn’t quite taste right just needs more ingredients. The grocery list is a recipe to this far too common type of man. Eventually your meals start tasting like spongebob.

Women should just handle the cooking. After all, the best cooks being male means nothing. I’m sure there are outstanding females in classically male things as well; Such as not being insane.

So back to the food.

I just wake up each morning and wonder what I have. Today I found loaves of bread inside the microwave. I used a sharp looking piece of metal to cut the loaf into smaller pieces and made myself some chocolate sauce (the only recipe worth knowing for a man) and ate. Then I giggled (in a manly, testosterone filled way), thinking of how chocolate sauce is the only thing I’ll ever need to make. At least until my teeth start falling out at 23 and I start sweating sugar cubes.

But I digress. Cooking really annoys me because it just takes so much time. Time which could, for example, be spent on twitter or something. What? It’s just like real life, except more text and… less gravity. Men invented things like dishwashers and fire so that they could avoid the whole ordeal by not having to wash up after, and being able to make nearly anything eatable. Women think men need to enjoy cooking more, men think women have smaller feet so they can stand closer to the sink.

I just had naan and chocolate sauce for dinner again. I think this calls for some culinary skills beyond knowing what a spoon is. Or I might just show up at your doorstep with a “Will cease being sexist for food” sign.

Went to Kalpitiya over the weekend. Pics and details will be up on SinhalayaTravels soon. I hope.