I have been to Singapore many times. My initial visit was as a stopover between Colombo and Manila for three days, staying at the YMCA in 1973. Afterwards, we would visit yearly on home leave back from Manila to Colombo and stay in some star hotel or other usually on Orchard Road. Clean air-conditioned rooms, mini-bars, in house television, and standard hotel fare in standard Singapore. At that time I remember the succulent buriyani we used to eat with our fingers, collectively sharing from the same big plate on the centre of the table taking care to use our right hand as culture dictates. This particular restaurant had to be in little India, and I have searched for it since, but have not been able to find it. Aside from buriyani, it was the coffee shops that we loved. Cakes, Hot Chocolate: so we could break open the sachets of sugar and pour it in. Sugar was a rarity in Ceylon, then. In the summers spent at home either on the estates or in Colombo a cube of jaggery was sucked on sparingly whilst taking a sip of tea. So the sachets available in Singapore were a wonder. Of course we would pocket two or three to take back home.
This trip, food still played a pivotal part. Singapore’s collective creativity it would seem is so focused on its food and table. They excel at it. Three nights three great restaurants- 1) Vibes: a restaurant with mouth watering meat which was served on large skewers that the waiters bought to your table, where they would promptly slice off the rare roast beef, or perhaps two hand made sausages, maybe some lamb? 2) An outstanding Italian restaurant serving bona fide Pizza the name of which escapes me at the moment- and on the last night 3) The Silk Road. Szechuan cuisine at it’s finest.
In these instances, I live to eat.
So thanks to indi, the S.L.bloggers had their first meet up. Unfortunately Dom and I had to leave early to attend a dinner party (very nice) but by all accounts it was a success.
The funniest part of the evening was when my nine-year-old daughter arrived at 7:00pm to do her homework and says, "What are all these teenagers doing here?"
Got me wondering as to where my teenagers were? one was being tutored in maths and the other was home studying for her history ASL. I just never see them anymore.
off to Singapore tonight on some work related matters. phoned a few friends there and they suggest that they can introduce me to the singapore blogging community. god forbid. It can easily take over one's life if one let's it.
So glad to be having a respite from Barefoot and Blogging-
Why is it that the best memories of life in Sri-lanka consist of those spent out of Colombo?
Take last weekend for instance, we all piled into the landrover discovery and headed North on the Colombo/Kurunegala Road.
Our destination was a private retreat belonging to a personal friend of ours, somewhere off the Trinco road. Good enough to be featured in the latest style/book magazine featuring Sri-lankan élan, but thankfully, the proprietor has not yet taken that step. Although, I would bet he does, in due course.
We arrive there at approx. 11 am to what must be one of the most glorious settings imaginable. Sh. It’s a secret. After a cup of tea that arrives and is not drunk, we drink cold cold beer instead which is naughty of us, but delicious. Naughty because it sets the tone for the hot afternoon that turns into long conversations, gin and tonics, kids playing on swings , running around, hovering about enjoying their new found freedom. Next, a healthy, sophisticated vegetarian rice and curry lunch served sometime at around 4:30; after which the the rains come rains unlike my host had ever seen there.
Quick, in a flurry of blessings, the dark clouds billow past and the skies open and it pours and pours, as lightening flashes and thunder roars. The light is incredible. We sit on the long balcony semi-shielded, purposely getting sprayed; watching nature at it’s most magnificent and beautiful. I fall asleep late in the afternoon with the three small kids and Dom cocooned in crisp white cotton sheets in what must be the most comfortable bed. The tats blowing, I eye the incredible intermediate zone scenery. What intermediate? The vegetation is lush with greenery. The skies refract every colour imaginable. We sleep deeply. The kids and Dom wake up at dusk and with our host walk up the rock where they see a herd of 20 elephants at the villu. Kids are very excited, come back to wake me and I admonish them for letting me sleep through the elephants. Never mind. Now a bath, a card game or two, then dinner- Pasta with a superlative MUSHROOM SAUCE. One of the best I have ever eaten. Later- bed, again. Sated. Slightly euphoric.
And it’s only the first day. With three more to go.
So what of the Royal-Tho? In Colombo.
I wish I could post my most private thougts, feelings, impressions, but apparently i can’t because i post under my name and some people know who i am. the answer would be to create a new blog and post under a psuedonym. But then I would have to change my writing style entirely which might not be such a bad thing. Even if i managed to change my writing style for the better, real life would still sweep in and i would be recognised. wonder what to do?
OK. This week has not started well, especially when you compare it to a really major music weekend. I went to the dentist on monday morning. Now, as far as dentist’s are concerned I must go to the best, sweetest dentist in the world. She is so bloody good at what she does: Quick, absolutely professional so i really do not mind. Besides I have been walking around for a week with two stumps where there were once teeth at the back of my mouth. Need to BRIDGE the gap.
I role out of bed at 10:30 am on Monday morning, after being up half the night- from consuming too many rum and cokes the evening before at the CRFC, whilst listening to Boney Fields, Glen Terry and all the other superlative musicians do their thing. Of course I make an ass of myself dancing madly. what do do? This girl really can’t help herself…
At least I was not driving. Thank god for Dom, always there when i need him.
With the three smallies in tow we head home at approx. 8:30 pm where I put them to bed and promptly fall asleep in their room. Wake up at 2:30 am and there is a light outside and one of my teenage daughters is on the phone. I walk into the room where she is supposed to be sleeping to get a bottle of water… (don’t ask) and there she is. I try not to say anything but manage a “don’t be too long, and get some sleep” as I stumble out in the darkness, to find a glass so I can guzzle the water that my dehydrated, abused, overworked, partied out body needs.
So I am up – the coca cola is working which means I am not sleeping.
Suddenly it’s dawn, small kids awake and I am having a mini screaming match with my youngest who does not want to go to school. Sort that one out by walking out of the room and letting the ‘maid’ take over. Oh God and It’s only 7:15am.. manage to fall asleep for a couple of hours.
At the dentist at 11:30 where she injects three large shots of anesthesia into my gums.
These are the sort of things that happen when Mercury turns retrograde.
So the band is here. the banners are going up, gazebos have been ordered. sound expected any time now. If you have not bought your tickets please come now and buy them. It's 11:47 and we have approx. 70 left.
Boney Fields with Glen Terry and Friends
ECSAT presents Boney Fields with Glen Terry and Friends‚ on Friday 3rd March, 7.30pm at the Barefoot Gallery/ Garden Cafe. It will be a night of infectious funky jazz to get the crowd jumping, with an exclusive raffle for those present on the night only.
All proceeds will go to supporting the work of ECSAT (Equality-based Community Support And Training – http://www.ecsatlanka.org) who work in Galle to support vulnerable people in their own communities. This has involved focusing on those affected by the tsunami by providing them with social support, psycho social support, educational support, vocational training and livelihood creation. At all times this work has included the differently abled as part of the programme, and will increasingly look at enabling this group to stay in their homes and communities as contented, equal and useful individuals.
On the night, live music will be teamed with an eclectic atmosphere such as only Barefoot can provide, there will also be the exclusive raffle to be drawn on the night, and in the breaks between live music pictures of the work of ECSAT ˆ so there is something for everyone. Above all else, it is the chance for people to make a difference while relaxing and experiencing a performance they will likely never forget.
Delicious food will be available on the night from the Barefoot Café, alongside beer from Corona, who are the main sponsor of the event. Other sponsors are Etihad, Aditya Resort and Baurs, while the raffle is supported by Mallika Hemachandra, Jewing Hotels, Amaya Resorts, Confifi, Mahaweli Reach and the Galle Face Hotel.