So here I am, back in London after my briefest trip so far to the motherland. It's Wednesday morning as I write this, I arrived back at around nine PM last night after landing over your way on Friday afternoon.
Truth be told I feel just that little bit dazed.
Of course there are lots of bits and pieces to tell you. Stories of colour, light, sound and smell. Theories on the body and heat, on the arrogance of SriLankan aircrew and how some friends left me to the wolves, well a wolf, well a wolfess actually. There's also an instructional story about the best way to steal a laptop from a Gypsy.
They're all noted in my new and swishy Barefoot notebook, one of those with lines drawn by a person with a crap ruler. Funny really that, a crap ruler could be a device to draw straight lines that doesn't work well or it could be person running a country badly. Or I guess it could be a fellow in charge of a crap table.
This is a bit of a poo post though, something that has been lacking around the Lankanosphere of late.
My itinerary was set as follows; land in CMB lateish on Friday afternoon, spend three days mooching around, doing that romantic thing that I'm so renowned for. This was with C, not just with random women that I encountered. Then leave on Tuesday morning, get back in London in the evening and go back to work on Wednesday morning.
By Saturday morning all was going well. All except one thing; I hadn't dropped a log since before I left London on Thursday. And neither had I done a poo. As you'll be aware this isn't wholly unusual for me. I can sometimes go for three or more days without opening the back gates and am often approached by camels seeking advice on how to do it.
But I began to wonder if it was at all possible that I could manage a whole sojourn to Sri Lanka, albeit a brief one, without the turtle poking its head out at all.
It was going to be a challenge. After some thought I decided that I was the man for the job and accepted it.
However, there was a condition and had to outline it to myself. It was to do with food, that all important aspect of any trip to Sri Lanka. It was all well and good trying to leave the country without pooing but it had to be done without cutting back on food, without existing on a diet of salad or bland food. Accepting and rising to the challenge would be useless if it dented my enjoyment of the trip. I explained the situation to myself and I accepted things. We both did actually.
Saturday was a breeze. I barely thought about things and ate like a British tourist at a Sri Lankan beach hotel buffet. One of those tourists with a yellow wristband, not just a blue one.
Sunday was a slightly different matter. C and me had some lunch and bumped into the Gypsy and another friend at Barefoot. I could feel a bit of a build up occurring, rather like a dam with a a steadily rising water level. My control was good, managing to talk to the Gypsy and tensing all my stomach muscles at the same time. It was hard work, that much I'll admit to you, though I'd be obliged if you don't tell the Gypsy about it.
I figured it would be smart to eat my way through the discomfort, so had a main course and a dessert. With hindsight that might have been a tad unwise. Thank God for belts with more than one hole and Diet Coke. By the evening things had got so uncomfortable that I could only eat a whole lamprais for dinner. And some of C's rice and curry too.
Monday morning saw C go off to work and me alone at the hotel. I was still a man on a mission but that mission meant that I also had to enjoy all that Serendib has to offer. I ate my breakfast of string hoppers, chicken curry, parippu and some pol sambol, with some seeni sambol too, with the zeal of a man eating his last meal before the electric chair.
As I sat on my very own special chair shortly afterwards, though this one wasn't electric, I feared for the plumbing and sewage systems of Colombo, more than normal I mean. As one man to another I can tell you that this poo was one of those eye watering types that leave a chap slightly breathless, admiring his own work and wondering about gay sex a bit. Michelangelo would have looked up and admired his work, I looked down.
I completed the paperwork, flushed and ran to the window of my room. I peered carefully over Beira Lake expecting to see it pop up at any moment, perhaps I'd see some guys in a rowing boat have to swerve to avoid it or a small crowd of onlookers pointing and screaming. Nothing happened. I was probably looking at the wrong place. It must have come out next to the Beach Wadiya into the sea there.
I'd been defeated by the challenge but that was okay. The rest of the day saw an RD with a lightness in his step and a large amount of air in his stomach, or semi colon or whatever it's called, the poo storage place.
Without even trying I lasted all the rest of the day with no further movements. I left the next morning, lasting the journey without going. I hate to poo in strange places but there's no place stranger than an aircraft toilet.
The first thing I did when I got home, after calling my Mum of course, was another satisfying log drop.
And, even though I failed the challenge, I do consider it to be a success. I went to Sri Lanka and only did one poo in my time there.
There's a prize for anyone who can beat that!