Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What can 200 Sri Lankan Rupees (approx $1.95) buy you in Negombo?

Fellow BTCV teammate Diana (Colombian born, but 100% Miami) and I pose next to a Tuk-tuk
I have since learned that these types of vehicles exist in other foreign lands - in Sri Lanka it is called a "tuk-tuk." With the pull start motor reminiscent of a lawnmower, handlebars indicative of a motorcycle and the kind of backseat you would want in a dorm room futon - a tuk-tuk is a fancy motorized hard top rickshaw.

Nearly every night I was in Negombo, I would ride in one of these the short distance from the hotel to the "Negombo Strip" where all its restaurants existed. Three of us would squeeze into the backseat and one of us would pay the driver 200 Sri Lankan rupees for the experience, which sometimes involved racing the tuk-tuks carrying others from the BTCV team and other times coming to a halt to make way for an unknown theatrics or festival in the street.

The times we went out for dinner we would dine at places clearly named to attract English speaking visitors (i.e. "Rodeo" and "Serendib"). I maintained a very conservative approach to food, pretty much avoiding anything I didn't recognize and trusting only fish and french fries along with either the sugar formula Coke or alcohol formula Lion Lager.

We had great times at these dinners learning about the interests of everybody. One of the best instances was when my roommate for the trip ordered a White Russian and MySister shot me a quick, "Don't you dare expose your delirious appreciation of the 1998 movie by Joel & Ethan Coen" glance. I bit my lip, only to jump on the opportunity when the drink was appropriately referenced by another on the team during dinner on another night.

Something that also needs to be noted: the Sri Lankan interpretation of Western Music. The most consistent genre played was Pop 80s, but when it wasn't that it was Bryan Adams. It became a running joke as we couldn't go a single day without hearing Bryan Adams in the ambient noise of Sri Lanka. And I'm not just talking about that song from the Costner movie - there were multiple "hits" from the man.  It didn't help (or maybe it did help) that one of the BTCV team is an admitted fan of Bryan Adams. MySister wants me to make a mixtape to commemorate the trip. I told her I couldn't because, "half the disc would be Bryan Adams!"

1 comment:

  1. I like Bryan Adams. He's one of my favorites actually. :)