Friday, July 27, 2012

Homesickness and Randomness

Yes, I know, Fellow Adventurers, AWOL again. I’ve been pretty grouchy lately and it’s hard for me to write a funny blog post when the only humor I have is the biting, sarcastic kind. Nothing is really wrong, I’m just generally kind of out of sorts. Kevin is gone. I haven’t heard her since we got back from India. I miss her wakeup call. I miss America and stuff like cheese and Target and restaurants that open for dinner before 7:30 pm. I don’t need that stuff to be happy, I just kind of feel a bit nostalgic for all of that lately. I love living overseas and I will be sad when our time here ends, but I think it’s part of the human condition to miss one’s homeland. I'm pretty sure people have been doing it since the first cavemen walked over ice floes to other continents. That’s why people call their home countries the Motherland and wax poetic about it throughout human history. I totally understand why people kiss the ground when they return to the land of their birth. It doesn’t matter how rotten things were in your motherland, it’s somehow part of your soul. I think the Irish are the biggest offenders. (See Angela's Ashes or pretty much anything written by an Irish expat.) Lucky for me, I’m about 98% German. Luckier for me, part of that other 2% is Irish and is enough to give me a really cool maiden name and the ability to wax poetic with the best of them. The jury is still out on which side gave me my mad alcohol consumption skills. (See, that was pretty funny…now we’re getting somewhere.)

Anyway, the bottom line is that I haven’t been very inspired by the idea of blogging lately. I did start writing a piece about the henchmen working on our plumbing. They’re still at it, so I’ll save it until all the hijinks are over, hopefully sooner rather than later. It’s been going on for almost three weeks now, though, so it could be a while. In the mean time, how about some random weird snippets of our life that really don’t fit anywhere else?

-When we first moved here and were staying at the residence hotel, I was very worried that our kids’ large inflatable pool rings would seem like “too much” in the hotel pool. One afternoon, we saw a family give something to the pool boy to inflate. The poor kid spent the next thirty minutes blowing up an inflatable raft with his mouth. When I say inflatable raft, I don’t mean the kind you float around on, napping. I mean an actual boat. After the pool boy finished and went inside (I’m assuming to find an oxygen tank), the family climbed in and proceeded to use oars to paddle around the pool. Tiny inflatable inner tubes? Yeah, we’re good.

-Remember that time Amelia Earhart threw up just before we arrived at the Taj Mahal? I neglected to mention that she rallied and ate four plates of Chinese noodles for lunch.

-Did you know there are thousands of varieties of bananas? In the U.S., almost all the bananas we eat are Cavendish variety, and the small percentage of the rest are primarily made up of what we call plantains. In Sri Lanka, Cavendish bananas are much harder to find. While there are many different kinds of bananas eaten on the island, including red ones, most of the bananas here are the Kolikuttu. They are much smaller than Cavendish bananas, about four inches long, and about a half inch to an inch thicker than what we’re used to. They taste different, too. They’re not bad, but after growing up on Cavendish, I’m sick of the short, fat little buggars.

-Pretty much everyone in this country wears flip flops all day, every day. Case in point: Almost every road construction worker I’ve seen is wearing a hard hat and flip flops. Safety first!

-Everywhere I go in Sri Lanka, I see mothers out with their babies. The babies are usually wearing shorts or sundresses and a knitted stocking cap. Now, this is a tropical island. It’s hot here, Fellow Adventurers. The average temperature is 80 degrees, and these poor tiny things are wearing toasty warm knitted woolen caps with little pompoms on the top. I always want to pull up next to them and snatch the hats off the babies and drive away, eventually collecting a car full of little knitted stocking caps that I would send to babies in Siberia, kind of like Robin Hood for sweaty babies. Babies wearing hats on 90 degree days is such a normal thing that the other day, when we were out driving and I spotted a baby without a hat on, I screeched at The International Man of Intrigue, “LOOK! That baby’s head is uncovered!!! It’s going to catch pneumonia! Someone call Lankan Social Services or whatever they have here!” The International Man of Intrigue sighed. He’s used to me by now. For what it’s worth, he thinks the hat business is weird, too. His theory is that if babies wear hats when they’re small, they get used to being super hot, so once they grow out of the hats, the blasting tropical island heat doesn’t seem so stifling.

- The Little Explorers might be too well traveled. They enjoy playing “airport.” They’re actually quite detailed. They check bags, go through the metal detector, get a wand and do pat downs and check passports and stamp boarding passes. They are more thorough and a whole lot nicer than TSA.

I think that's all I've got for today. My driver just came to the front door, delivering beer that The International Man of Intrigue sent home. I think it's time for a cold one! Have a great weekend, Fellow Adventurers!

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