The Lankan Journal: Almost a Hollywood story

All of us have a problem of chauvinism, this is such a nation, VIGOROUS, MIGHTY, DEFEATED BY NOONE... an so on and so after by the text of the song*, but some people sometimes have a click in their heads and they start thinking that may be except of us there is somebody else in the Universe?

Today is Tuesday, not the best suitable day for the party, but the things are like this. Priyanta suggested us to cook classic carry, not a restaurant like, but home like, as for self and for friends. Of course we agreed.

Starting from 7 in the evening, when wanderers returned after the working day and had a shower, there started some mysterious things in the kitchen of the second floor. Actually the reason for this party became a bought by occasion fruit of bread tree. Natural force of lively energy, in this sense, if no other it is called by Lankans. In word, Priyfnta and Krishan were frying and steaming for at least two hours. Natasha felt very proud because she took most active part in vegetable slicing. The fruit of bread tree Krishan peeled and cut by himself. Yes, the fact that Priyanta is a high-quality chef and worked in UBR not for worth, was clear already after the barbeque.

Onions, carrots, egg-plants, peas, coconut milk, dressings, spices and plenty of other different hardly known for me components, became the basis of 5 courses standing on the table. Praise God, my Alyonka fried a tasty filet of Sri-Lankan piggy with onions for me. It was marvelous together with boiled-fried potatoes and onions. So, everybody enjoyed. I mean, that meat is meat in Sri-Lanka too and even better than this.

The dishes are taken away, there are only drinks on the table and starts communication. Still one man was right when he told me: “ Do not look that they have darker skin, they are very close to us, the Slavs”, this means we need to talk. Lankan guys are really nice, Priynta when he wets whistle feels like having a gas, so he was kicked for talking again…

With Priyanta, or as we call him “Priyatny” (Pleasant) we got acquainted in Sri and Lankan wine & vodka shop, located in Unawatuna. By the way, the place popular enough, because such shops are few, sometimes only one for the whole city. The reason is strict legislation, forbidding construction of alcohol shops neat temples and schools. Not sure about temples, but about school I agree completely, nothing sell beer in a stall opposite the school.

So we met occasionally. I went to buy the evening dosage of arack, and as I already had been under influence of 49 grams drunk 20 minutes before straight from the bottle, I rather willingly responded to provocative suggestion of my girls to rumble all over the shop “I need a house in Unawatuna! What will you offer?” The arrogant shop-assistant by no reason pretended that he did not heat me – this is really science-fiction.

To miss the sound of my voice is unreal. Literally the other day, the barman from Tartaraguri politely asked me if I had my gorge operated, as my voice sounded too unnaturally. I could not explain him that I sang in a church’s choir basso parts? So I just sang breathing out “Aaaaamen” at maximum possible for me low note, which shocked him ultimately.

The only person who responded to my appeal was a little, even by Lankan standards, Singhalese. Shuddering he joyfully informed that he had a house in view and in a pretty adequate condition. The house was really nice, all the girls liked it, and even these lines I am writing lying on the bed in this house. “Priyatny” immediately, in our presence, announced to the owner that he did not need commission fee, so we agreed on a very satisfactory price. But we did not forget about Priyatny, we called him some more times, he drove us and it happened that we liked him so much, that employed him. 170 dollars per month plus petrol. Quite a normal price, even a very normal.

"Priyatny" is a very interesting person, it looks like I am very lucky and many people around me are very interesting personalities. When I needed a table and explained that I did not need any glamour furniture, just a table, and would gladly take a second-hand, he offered his table. I visited his house, got acquainted with the wife and the children, and we made a deal. The table stands in my sitting-room and I am very content with it. "Proyatny" rejected taking money, because he does not use the table anyway, he has no place to put it, as his house consists of two little dark rooms in the tight corner of Muslim quarter. I am not a racist, but I am cautious about Muslims. Not because they are bad, but because I do not understand them. Their religion and values are too much different, and among the Singhalese they also are not honored. But as I revealed today, the cute and plump Mulatto was absolutely not his wife. “Priyatny” had a twin-brother and he died two years ago, having left his wife and three children, one of them was only several months old. He took his brother’s wife and children to his house, and takes care of them as of his own. “I did not have a choice”, he told me, “should they have been left dying?” His brother’s wife lives with children in his house. He does not touch her, just takes care – she is his part, she is his family. Snaky Hollywood guys like to use such stories in soap operas, but here this is real. I have been observing “Priyatny” for more than a month and I think that I have a right to conclude that he made this sincerely and from his heart, far less than many of us in our crooked by fake values world, can do such a thing. When I learned this everything fit, I understood why he does not hurry home, why to my question “what about your wife staying alone at home, while you are hanging out with us?”, he replied that they have independent relations with the wife. Everything is simple, she is not his wife in fact. I wrote this story by his permission, because he does not advertise it locally. He thinks it is not needed.

Another evening is over and we are going to bed rooms. I learned one more real story, and this people became a bit more closer and known. For instance, do you know that when you call them “local”, they accept it as an insult? As they say, "local" may be food or monkeys, but people are Singhalese. Of course, nobody will attack you with a pistol, and most likely they will continue smiling at you, but definitely this will not be sincerely. And one more thing, do not haste to make conclusions about the whole nation by several people, met by you during a short vacation, and do not make conclusions about people by the color of their skin.

29.07.2009 Unawatuna

Welladewala road, Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
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Phone: +94770214419
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