Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Colombo, The City I Sleep With.

As the week gets better the city gets worse. I must admit I hadn't envisaged the drama and turmoil I'd have to deal with and how hard it would be for the girls, A in particular. I'm busy trying to find the right balance between firm divorced Dad and nice divorced Dad, between verbal understanding and verbal warfare. It was never going to be easy, maybe Sri Lanka as our first holiday as a threesome wasn't the best idea.

I had thought that the familiarity would be good for the girls, that the people and the places would be comforting and easier than those in a new place. But the reaction from the crowd has been a mixed one to say the least. The positives of familiarity have been tinged with the negatives of wishing their Mum was here. For fuck's sake don't misunderstand that. I haven't been wishing anything of the sort, the girls have, at times. My life is full of firsts, this is merely another one. It was an exciting t experience for the girls, their first tri shaw accident, something I believe they'll always remember.

Today was a big Muslim lunch with my cousins and their offspring. I think I've come up with some kind of solution to remembering the names. It's a safe bet to make a random noise, one with lots of "R"s "F"s and "Z"s and it usually sounds like the name, particularly if you add a "ana" on the in the case of girls. One of my cousins, the particularly devout one had the grey bits of his beard dyed orange. I was quite surprised by this and K found it hard not to stare at him. I must find out what's going on with the whole orange beard thing.

On the way back to the hotel our tri shaw was involved in a nice little accident or, to use the proper Sri Lankanism, it "met with an accident". There was lots of shouting, lots of waving of fists and, in true Sri Lankan tradition, most of the offices and buses on the Galle Road were emptied as people stood round and watched what was going on. I did my bit, waving my open palm in the air wildly and shaking my head in dismay at the other driver, not that I had the foggiest what was going on. A fellow has to take sides though.

I'm not sure if I can be bothered to haggle with tri shaw drivers these days. I always used to end up paying them far closer to the price they had originally stated anyhow, but now I feel such a hypocrite. Inflation and the cost of living here are so high, so criminally high, that I feel it's not right to haggle over a hundred or two hundred rupees, money that could fall out of my pocket and hide down the back of my sofa and I wouldn't notice, yet could make the difference between a good and a bad day for the man on the street here.

I read Mr Blacker's post on the 23rd of July '83, it made me feel things. I was here then too and it feels as if it's a big thing that I'll be here tomorrow, twenty five years on.

There was some talk of meeting him for a drink tonight. He said that he didn't want a late one as he was judging the Miss Sri Lanka competition tomorrow. What a guy! Last week I wanted Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins to be my new best friends. Today I want David Blacker, with some Jennifer Aniston thrown in for the sexy stuff.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

isnt that colombo the city you sleep in?