Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Perfect Sri Lankan Sunday

A few weeks ago, I opened up a book I'd brought with me and out drops my Minnesota fishing license. "Huh, that's random," I thought, "Hope I don't lose this!"

I didn't lose it; and in fact, I brought it up at a Nepali supper last Sunday with a group of friends.

"You fish?" Yacoub said.
"Sure...why not?" I replied.

...and that was the start of a lovely weekend. Yacoub ended up inviting myself, Anu, Barbara, Jill and others out to his and his uncles place on Lake Bogoda, just outside Colombo, this Sunday (today). Turns out, he's a huge fisherman. He wanted us there at 6am, but we ended up rolling in around 9, some of us hungover.....and some just really, really tired.

Still, that was enough time for a four hour troll up and down the lake, (which eventually turns into the sea). The fish they go for are much bigger than my usual widemouth bass. Unfortunately, I didn't figure this out until AFTER I got a hit, and didn't set the hook properly. So, as usual, The Big One Got Away. We trolled for a few more hours, seeing monkeys, a sea monitor (Sri Lanka's komodo dragon :) and cooking ourselves on the prow. (We literally watched Stefan turn from raw to well-done in front of us!)

At one point, Stefan knocked my flip-flop off the prow and we had to turn around to get it (once we realized it was missing; about 20 minutes later..) Yacoub announced that I'd make out with whoever found it, I think as an incentive for Stefan, but lucky for me, it was Jill that eagle-eyed it out of the weeds, and she wasn't interested in cashing in. Although little alcohol was involved, we kept ourselves diverted by the amazing number of double entendre's that come from fishing. Yacoub's friend even read all of our palm's. (I apparently, am in for two kids and I don't keep in touch with my family well..)

We got back in to the boathouse around 1pm; more friends showed up and the beer started flowing. Yacoub's house is set on a hill, with a large wrap around veranda. His mom made two large bowls of biryani, sambol and spicey chicken. After we ate our fill, the jaggery came out (sri lankan creme caramel), as did the hammock. Some unsuccessful waterskiing was pursued by the Germans, another fishing tour went out and a motorboat ride at sunset rounded out the day.

I am crispy, exhausted and I have tiny niggling ache at the back of my head - but - what a wonderful day. I don't feel I've missed the Minnesota summer at all; in fact, the Minnesota summer has come to me.

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