Sunday, January 8, 2017

Kitchens of the Third World


I don't like things that slither and crawl. I'm deathly afraid of snakes; I don't like to garden because worms, which are just very small snakes, freak me out. Everyone knows I both fear and loathe monkeys (everyone knows that, right?) but creepy-crawly things are the worst. So imagine what happened the other morning when I went into the kitchen to make a cup of tea only to find this scene waiting for me:

Naturally, my response was to scream and run out of the kitchen. It was more of a yelp than a scream, but still, the situation was not one I was constitutionally able to handle. And since Velu was off for the day and I didn't think 9-1-1 would work from here, I went across the street and explained the dire situation to my cousin, who explained it to her house-man, who came over to deal. We tried opening the kitchen window to shoo them out, that didn't work, and since I couldn't find a dust-pan to capture them in, we... okay, he, used a spatula and some newspaper to coral them and move them to the backyard. Look, I've seen the geckos scampering on the kitchen walls, and that's fine, I know they live in the kitchen and they and their children and cousins will find their way back, and that's also fine, but geckos 1 and 2 need to know their place, and it's not in the sink.
hero of the day
That was the adventure du jour on Saturday, on Sunday I went in search of a taste from childhood, cadde paan (sp? cadde [pron: cah-day] is a tiny store-front, like a bodega; paan [pron: pah-n] is bread). There are some really nice bakeries in town and one could even procure a nice French baguette if one wanted, but what I wanted was the bread of my childhood (one year of it, anyway). The soft, squishy white loaf that is perfect for toasting, and with a certain je ne sais quoi flavor like no other. I walked around the block to the main road and found a little joint with a bunch of loaves shoved up into a window case and pointed. I don't know my numbers very well in Sinhalese so thankfully the guy said "60 rupees" in English. I gave him the equivalent of 40-cents, and was on my way.