Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Quiet Saturday

Started the day the same as always, with Velu the cook/housekeeper bringing my breakfast to me on a tray. I sat in the dining room this morning as opposed to in the open courtyard-area of the house which has comfy chairs and a coffee table. I suspect that Velu doesn’t wholly approve of me eating out there instead of at the table; he has worked as a cook for the Italian and British Embassies in Sri Lanka and is probably used to a more formal atmosphere; he addresses me as “madam” which is the custom here, and now that I think of it, he probably doesn’t know my first name. This morning I had oatmeal with banana, honey, and chopped walnuts. When I first got here, I made my own breakfast but I got the impression that I was in Velu’s way in the kitchen, so now I sit and read while he makes whatever I want and brings it to me.

Important note: yesterday I became a member of the British Council Library – a lifesaver! It’s walking distance from the house and while the selection of fiction is miniscule compared to any real, City library, I’m in no position to be picky since the last book I read was called “Seduce Me at Sunrise” and involved the seduction of (and not just at sunrise) an English maiden by a gypsy-blooded ruffian. It turns out (in case you’re wondering) that their passion for one another could not be ignored despite major obstacles such as her frail health and his violent past (plus there was the aforementioned issue of his gypsy heritage). Lot of “throbbing” went on in that book, as well as some “savage hunger” quite a bit of “heaving” and “…desire flaring high and wild, leaving no room for sanity.” I pretty much couldn’t put it down, but I owe that mostly to the fact that it was in English (and only partly to the “heaving”). But now thanks to my new library card, I have a couple of less torrid novels at hand.

After breakfast I went to the gym, but before I left, I told Velu that since I could make do with leftovers already in the fridge (my brother is away for the weekend), there was no need for him to do any cooking today, so if he wanted to leave early that was fine with me; I thought this rather magnanimous of me. Then I gave him two shirts to iron. I had a massage booked for 12:30 but was going to the gym, which is conveniently located right near the spa, first. The three-wheeler-guy who usually takes me to the gym wasn’t at the top of the lane this morning so I flagged one down which was passing by, this took less than two seconds. Three-wheelers or “tuk-tuks” are sort of a cross between a golf cart and a motorcycle, with aspects of a lawnmower thrown in. They are loud, emit stinky exhaust, and weave crazily in and out of traffic; they are my main mode of transportation around town. After working out and showering, I walked to the spa and was immediately handed a cool drink and a very cold, wet washcloth to sponge off with. It’s really hot here. Not as bad as it’s going to be in the spring, but still, even the short walk from the gym to the spa left me feeling a little grimy. The spa was lovely and tranquil, the massage was fantastic and cheap ($38 for 90-minutes; tips aren’t expected), and when I got home, my two shirts were pressed, folded, and sitting in my wardrobe.

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