Tuesday, August 28, 2012

London, Lanka and Lamprais

So I'm back in the UK after a glorious two weeks in Serendib. Yesterday was a lucky bank holiday Monday. Bank holidays are a bit like Poya Days except they don't happen as often, the weather's always shit and we don't drink as much.

I had hoped that the extra day would give me a bit of time to get prepared for hitting the week with a bang. I had a friend's birthday lunch to go to and a rather hefty handful of songs I need to learn for a couple of band practices in the week. But no, that bloody cough, the one I seem to always get when faced with AC or a bombardment of fans, has descended on me again. In true Sri Lankan fashion I put myself on some antibiotics with absolutely no Doctors involved in the decision making process. Love it!

I caught the flight from Serendib at 2 AM on Sunday morning and it got into London about 8 AM. It's a lovely little flight time I tell you. The scheduling meant that I got in a full day in Colombo on Saturday, a bit of a luxurious one mind, but full to the brim.

It started with a massage, slightly strange, slightly different but a massage it was for sure. The place advertised and said that customers would first be examined by their resident Doctor before he recommended the appropriate treatment. Well he took the most cursory of looks at me and C, asked if we had any particular areas of concern, then rang a bell. The masseur turned up, received some instructions and off we went.

I had slipped a disc some weeks ago so asked if the chap would go a bit gently around that neck of the woods. He didn't. But I figure thirty or forty minutes is a long time and one can easily forget instructions in that gap.

A delicious Lamprais lunch followed. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to tell you this but Indi and Blacker asked me if I wanted to be a judge in Yamu's recent Lamprais review. I was kind of gutted to have to refuse. I mean, honours, to a Kalu Suddha like me at least, don't come much higher than a request like this. I've got those kids, a business, I play in a few bands and whatnot, but to be asked to be a judge in a review of Lamprais, at Barefoot no less, really genuinely felt like I'd arrived. Of course I had arrived, but I'd also left and gone down South for a few days, hence my refusal.

But, after reflecting on it a bit, I decided that it was a good thing I couldn't make it. You people who live in Sri Lanka, you who can eat Lamprais on demand, get discerning and have expert opinions along the lines of "well the plantain in that one was a bit sub standard" or "there should have been slightly less rice in that one".

To me, just about every single Lamprais is a delicious, delectable and usually unobtainable piece of luxury cuisine. I savour every mouthful, that warm mix of aromas, flavours and textures. And frankly, sticking me in as a judge would have been like asking a desperate thirty something virgin who has been trying to get laid all his life to star as the lead in a porn film.

I would have peaked too soon, stuffing myself with Lamprais at the early stages and being unable to judge that late entrants accurately. No, the job was far better done by the experts involved. Even Blacker, who pigged out a little bit from what I heard.

I have other stories to tell. I made a promise to a German bloke that I'd write a few more blog posts, but he also made me undertake not to write rubbish. This could be hard. I'm sure you can see my dilemma.

One other thing; the increase in metered tuk tuks is brilliant isn't it? Now we can jump in and avoid all that painful haggling and pretend walking away, with the knowledge that we'll pay the going rate for the journey. It's a good solution to a problem that I'm not sure I was even that aware of. I feel a bit for the drivers though as they can't rip off "generous" tourists as easily as they could before. Now they have to pretend the meter's not working or mug them or something.

Ah yes, one final thing, really. I bought a full set of new pants. Pants, not trousers I mean. Today I'm sporting a pair of the red Paul Smith ones. I'm not one hundred per cent sure on their authenticity. Well, I know that they're definitely real pants, I just don't know if they're real Paul Smith ones.

I haven't decided what I'll wear tomorrow but I'll keep you posted!