1. waiters serving the welcome drink in the hotel will actually tell you that they won’t serve the drink up in your room. even if you are holding one sleeping kid, one handbag and one Nikon bulky camera.
2. that would be Sri Lankan Rs. 500 (INR 250 ) for a tiny plate of french fries. In a very average restaurant. where the waiter dips his fingers into the water tumbler.
3. i went on a boatride… so much of Sri Lankan life to see, clothes hanging to dry, an opportunity to tell someone that our family hates all animals (firstborn told the boatman this), a baby crocodile, a lagoon, a fisherman, an all-white-kurtas Muslim boys cricket team, stories of the tsunami, of war and of peace
4. Just like tiny Ganesha statues punctuate Chennai’s roads, avenues and turns. It’s Buddha for Sri Lankans. And we were there during Buddha Poornima, when celebratory flags dotted the whole of Sri Lanka.
5. 17 = number of times our van was stopped by armed policemen. This was on a 3-day trip.
6. At the elephant orphanage: Elephants look tired. None of them had tusks. One was limping on three-feet. The children loved to see baby elephants downing milk from a bottle. But the MMMiM came away sad.
7. Srilankan grandmas’ preferred fabric for blouses/tops = hakoba. i dislike hakoba. i think it’s too er holey moley.
8. i always thought cabbage came from the supermarket. now i know better. it comes from a farm in Nuwara Eliya.
9. near a temple where Sita was allegedly kept imprisoned by Ravana there’s a giant hole in a rock. the locals call it hanuman’s foot print. the fervent believer in Hindu mythology (the mmmim )says he spotted a hanuman’s big toe likeness there as well.
10. the mmmim had sandwiches for breakfast, for three consecutive days.
11. “let’s buy “dilmah” brand of tea for everyone back home…” The MMMim tells me. This man doesnt know these things. He’s a very world-unaware kinda guy. No brands. No shopping. And no bread for breakfast is his policy. And he’s saying : “let’s buy “dilmah” brand of tea for everyone?”
Apparently the Sri Lankan cricketers used to wear the dilmah logo when they play against india. That’s how it stuck in his head.