Sunday, October 29, 2006


Its here again: that time of the year when you wish you were anywhere else but damp, sticky, moldy smelling Sri Lanka. Its monsoon time- or to use less exotic terminology “drippy, grey, rainy days are here again”

My cats are frozen into catatonic lumps- you see them lurking like watchful gargoyles, on sideboards, in the ceiling ornaments, on cupboards, too cold to shake a limb but occasionally blinking balefully at the podgy geckos they are too lazy to catch.
The half Persian has swollen to twice her size because she is cold and her bristles are sticking out, and taken to answering the calls of nature indoors, ie, in the kitchen sink.

And the Ally living room is permanently damp and dotted with empty plastic Cargills ice cream tubs strategically positioned to catch stubborn leaks. Friends are compelled to fend off the damp feline advances of kittens who are trying to poach body heat from them, and have to sit across from me on the couch and make themselves heard through the gentle tymphany of heavy tropical droplets of water landing on plastic. To the optimistic feng shui enthusiast, this may have its special charm but I personally hate the whole idea. Leave aside the limp underwear and tea cloths with things growing on them, rugs so damp that you have to actually fight them to get your shoes back, reeking feline foot prints patterning across the tiles in livid muddy shades- there is the Smell: take old army boots , a second hand chicken coop , manky towels, a lot of rotting wood and a generous dollop of pulsating tropical lichen (and this mind you is after the household dogs have been banned and cruelly locked out to fend for themselves!)- and you come somewhere close to this, keeping in mind that its not very strong, just a faint whiff, since we have got used to it anyway and if it were stronger we would have to root it out some how: no- the damp atmosphere does not smother – it just hangs about sheepishly.

But the smell does get to me – so once I land at home in the evenings I need to light two Ninja coils and 3 Dhoop sticks before I can even begin to think straight. –that’s after the trip home since I need a little time to “unwind” and recap that journey home-

..oh, did I forget to tell you how I actually get home? Well, I cant use the moped because my spectacles get foggy in the rain and don’t have wipers- so I have to travel in bus like all the other normal middle class peeps, which means squeezing in with about 85 other damp wheezy people who have just folded their dripping umbrellas and found a spot to stand in that’s not half an inch under water on the bus. Then we spend 45 minutes in the compulsory company of all kinds of droplet infections produced by the copious hacking and sneezing and occasional snorts from people who forgot their kerchiefs and are using their sleeves instead (or even perhaps your shawle if you doze off a minute-) …

Anyway having survived that theres the lovely tropical trek, home depending on how far you live from the bus halt. Wonderful Serendipity! Ten to fifteen minutes trudging cheerfully up those rustic, winding little side tracks that lead to home,if you think about it carefully :these puddles are SCAREY. Never mind the typhoid and gonorrhea that must lurk in them I personally have a horrible phobia ( due to watching too many horror flicks like Jaws , the Deep and Lake Placid) that if I put my foot in the wrong puddle I may not actually get it back!

And here at last is a problem that we cannot blame on the GOSL,LTTE , globalization or the IMF!So theres no point ranting about it on Kottu – unless Waruna* gets His own blog running and allows us to post comments and suggestions to him. So till then, happy sloshing,while I go off to microwave my undies.

*Balinese deity of Rain, Oceans (and thus tsunamis) and other water related issues..

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