Monday, August 20, 2012

Change of Venue

View from our [new] room; notice the ocean...
So, the Jetwing Lagoon Hotel was nice enough... but we didn't like it, or rather, we didn't like it as much as the Jetwing Beach Hotel, which we had all stayed at together last time I was here. So we switched. First we went down to breakfast where I hoped to have the modest type of morning meal I have at home (didn't happen), and after again stuffing myself with the local delicacies, we checked out and moved about 15 minutes down the road to the Beach Hotel. The family stays there fairly often so they were greeted like they owned the place. We watched a movie in my aunt and uncle's suite ("Unknown" - Liam Neeson thriller, very stressful) and Nilan drove up from Colombo to join us for lunch and guess what? I stuffed myself at the Sri Lankan buffet. After lunch, I took a quasi-nap and was sort of thankful that it was really too hot to do anything but nap anyway; made me feel less lame for letting the jet lag win.

mangosteen [bottom, right]  possibly the world's most perfect fruit
In the evening we went for a walk on the beach and then cleaned up before dinner (going to the beach here is really an exercise in killing time between meals). My aunt wanted to stay in and order from room service so Shalini, Uncle Bobby, and I went to the "fine dining" restaurant at the hotel. I wasn't very hungry (having stuffed myself at the lunch-buffet) but Shalini really wanted me to try this restaurant since it's one of her favorites so of course I went down with them. I'm a little skeptical when it comes to "fine dining" in Sri Lanka - the food I love here is the very peasant-y rice and curry, the more rustic the better, featuring a melange of spices and flavors that I could never duplicate - way too much trouble to even attempt it - at home (although I occasionally make the effort with varying results), and which the cooks here throw together effortlessly (it seems), measuring nothing and achieving sublime results. All that being said, the fine dining at the Beach Hotel was great. I had the special which was a small piece of sea bass and some giant prawns which had a spicy curry flavor, very bright and hot, tangy and tasty.

The three of us went for a stroll down the road after dinner - it was mostly small restaurants and a few shops. I swear I saw four men dressed like mariachis playing guitars in one of the restaurants we passed, but there is no Mexican cuisine as such in this country (Swiss, German, French, Thai, Indian, Italian, Pizza Hut, KFC, yes; Mexican, no) but the jet lag-tiredness was just kicking in and I couldn't swear in a court of law that that's what I saw. I went to bed shortly thereafter, probably for the best.