Saturday, September 24, 2005

Sri Lankan Nourishments

Sri Lankan Nourishments

I enjoyed the food in Colombo very much: the sheer variety of rice and curries available in every restaurant menu there made me commit the deadly sin of gluttony everytime. I think If I were to stay in Sri Lanka for the long term, I I'd definitely put on weight. Beer, rice and curries--a sure-fire recipe for obesity.

I am a rice person; in Sri Lanka, the varieties of rice served in a typical buffet meal are quite amazing--you have short and long-grained ones, coming in a variety of shades from white to yellow and red, and cooked in so many different ways. Nothing is more appetizing than a simple meal of rice and curry. I am also quite fond of a dish called lamprais--rice cooked in meat stock and baked in banana leaf with some meat and vegetables. Makes a great self-contained lunch meal.

Apart from rice, Sri Lankans also eat a lot of hoppers--which are bowl-shaped pancakes made of fermented rice flour and coconut milk, sometimes cooked with an egg in the middle. There's also the string hopper, which is the closest thing to mee hoon in Sri Lankan cuisine. They are eaten with curries and "sambol".

Enough of Sri Lankan food for the moment. I'm back again in KL--back to my diet of teh tarik, nasi lemak and Starbucks coffee. I managed to get some sleep during my flight back but it wasn't sufficient--so I slept for another one-and-a-half hour this afternoon. I'm feeling slightly refreshed now and eager to dive back into my routine of work.

My diet for the coming weeks will be the huge stack of information that I have collected and which have I to try my best to digest and draw conclusions from. Hopefully there's sufficient nourishment there to keep my mind constantly occupied and most importantly, working creatively.

Leaving Colombo

Leaving Colombo

It's been a whole week since I last blogged. I'm typing this at the airport lounge in Colombo, waiting for my SriLankan Airlines flight to KL via Singapore. I'm becoming quite a regular customer of SriLankan Airlines now; the main reason why I'm taking this airline is that unlike MAS or SIA, their flights to Colombo do not arrive in the wee hours of the morning.

I arrived here last Sunday at 5pm, when it was still bright. I checked into the Galle Face Hotel and immediately settled down at my favourite spot overlooking the sea and setting sun, with a nice cool mug of beer melting in my palm. It has been my daily routine every evening here to just lounge by the beach after a hard day's work. Work has been very hard indeed: I managed to conduct at least 15 meetings over the last five days, including a very interesting one at Malabe--the "Cyberjaya" of Sri Lanka--just outside Colombo city.

I've only been able to get a bit of Internet access at the office early in the morning before my daily meetings. There are not many Wifi hotspots in Colombo and it costs around 1 USD for an hour of access here. But anyway, I wasn't too keen on being connected all the time as I wanted to try and avoid unncessary Internet access here in Colombo; sometimes productivity can actually increase with less surfing.

All I need is my notebook--both paper and electronic--for writing down my notes and observations. I have tons of materials--sketches, notes and hardcopy printouts--to digest back in KL. It'll take me almost 6 hours to reach KL ( including a one-hour stopoever in Singapore ). I have opted for a light but educational read for this trip, so I'm going to enjoy my way home. I think I'm beginning to like these short sojourns to Serendib...