Saturday, October 19, 2013

five weeks from today

Unbelievable -- but five weeks from today we will be in Colombo. I'm excited to see the gorgeous hills in the tea district, so green and lush and laced with waterfalls; the beautiful coast at Tangalla; the fort and surrounds at Galle; Kandy, not entirely sure but we'll find our way to stuff to do, ditto Colombo. All that, very exciting. Plus just being away together again, that's my favorite part. But a very close second? THE FOOD. In particular, kothu roti, which I plan to eat as many times as possible. It began as street food, but it has become the national dish, I gather. Watch this -- it's literally a symphony at the end (if symphonies just include rhythm instruments).

And hoppers, which are in two forms, as far as I can tell. They start with a fermented batter of rice flour, coconut milk and a little bit of palm toddy, which lends a sour flavor and makes it ferment. For breakfast, the batter is poured into a small bowl-shaped pan, something like a personal wok size, and rolled around to form a thin layer like a crepe. When it's cooked, an egg is broken inside and then condiments of all kinds are added. It looks so very good. We think you kind of fold it up like a burrito and eat it out of hand.

I plan to have this every morning for breakfast. A breakfast hopper,
so much better than a breakfast Whopper I am sure.
The other way hoppers are served involves pressing the same batter through a mesh of some kind so it forms long noodles, in a way, and then that's just the base for all the brilliant Sri Lankan condiments and additions. Sri Lankan food is very spicy and hot, much more than Indian, so we are really looking forward to that.

Right now Marc is in the final stages of getting all the details in place: organizing and prioritizing potential restaurants in each place, preparing our folders filled with all the paperwork and information (one for me, one for him), making plans for the lengthy taxi rides we'll take, etc. And oh yeah! The taxi rides. There are no interior flights so to get from town to town our options are the train, a bus, or a taxi. We'll have suitcases and backpacks and stuff and decided to take taxis. A long taxi from Colombo to Tangalla (maybe 6 hours but a lot of factors, and about $100 for the two of us), a taxi from Tangalla to Galle, a taxi from Galle to Hatton, in the mountains where they grow tea, a taxi from Hatton to Kandy, and then a taxi from Kandy back to Colombo. Long drives, but beautiful countryside to watch.

Counting down the weeks now....and then I'll say ගිහිල්ලා එන්නම් (gihillā ennam), which means goodbye (said by the person leaving, there are other phrases for all kinds of circumstances).

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