Sunday, December 27, 2009
The classic taco rice and cheese is a bed of sticky white rice, topped with a healthy portion of taco meat, covered in shredded cheddar cheese. Aside from the States we have yet to fully duplicate that recipe.
In Montevideo it was the cheese. There was no sharp cheddar anywhere. Only white cheese.
Here, we can get the ground beef, but it's frozen Australian beef and it's already salted. Don't get me wrong it really is good tasting beef, but a bit hard to get the seasoning right. Again, no sharp cheddar cheese, but the white cheese we used fit the bill. On a health kick we used red long grain rice. I didn't think I would like it but it was very good.
On the side we had a bean salad with chopped bits of pineapple, onion, red and yellow pepper, jabanero mango hot sauce and coconut oil. All that was missing was some cilantro, it was till very delicious.
Now go out and have some taco rice and cheese!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
We purchased it from the store at work, much like we purchase most of our meat. It comes from Australia, it's frozen and vacuum packed. There is a pretty decent selection, and the brats and other sausages are really great.
We had made an order for some meat and it was pretty expensive. The turkey burgers were individually sealed, nice, but they were also seasoned and had its fair share of filling. They looked small but surprisingly one burger each filled us up.
The grocery store does have a meat counter, but we have yet to purchase anything there. It's mostly chicken and mutton and ground mutton. The beef comes from Australia and again, it's expensive.
There are butchers at the local market, but judging by the smell we will never buy anything there, that and just walking through the place gives you the creeps.
Friday, December 25, 2009
So we were on the way to the Galle Face hotel for sandwiches by the pool and book reading on the their little beach, or so we thought. We both mentioned that we were really hungry and the lunch buffet was still a good option, we would look at that.
We arrive at the hotel and head towards the buffet and notice that it's done up much more festive than usual. Then we notice the selection was certainly not the usual fair, and then I realized, this was a special lunch buffet.
I knew that this was not going to be priced on par with the usual lunch buffet, probably closer to double that price, but worth it. Unfortunately the hostess was not able to seat us at our usual sitting area with great views of the ocean, in fact many of the tables had reserved cards on them. She had to seat us at an overflow section but that was okay as it was the dining room area of the hotels fanciest restaurant.
The food selection was so great it was difficult at best where to begin, but I found a way! Amongst the many stations was a prawns and calamari tempura chef, pasta chef, omelet chef, Mongolian bbq chef, shaved chicken schwarma chef (Not like any pita you've had in your life), lamb and turkey carving, cheeses, salads, juices and that's not including the hot plate items on the other side, the dessert display and the ice cream chef with all of the gooey stuff.
We ended up staying almost three hours! Two main course plates, ate fairly slowly, coffee and desserts later.
I thought we would need a tri-shaw ride home but we made it!
And here are the pictures: Dessert plate, bread display, orange mousse in shot glasses.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
I bought a Santa hat and wore it down the main road yesterday on my way home fom work. I got a few grins on the sidewalk that made it worth it. I had also bought some Reeses Pieces and chocolate covered marshmallow Santa's. When I got to the apartment I started giving them out to the guards who were very happy. Pretty much anything American is a neat thing for them. My guess is more than a few brought the candy home for the kids.
We went to a midnight church service and there was a brass ensemble that accompanied the pipe organ. They really made some joyful noise within the church. The church is very old with high ceilings so the acoustics were wonderful.
Hope everyone has a great day with family and friends.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
This is one of the neatest things for Christmas I have ever scene. Two men working on their own time wove coconut leaves together and created this wonderful nativity scene. You really have to see it in person, but alas you can't, LOL, so here are some pictures.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Every hundred yards or so pedestrians are jumping out in front of you to cross the road. Some take their chances at the pedestrian crosswalk but here it doesn't make a difference.
Now add big smoke belching buses drifting into our lane the entire way.
Numerous dead dogs.
The occasional slow trishaw that's drifting all over the highway.
The army checkpoints.
Intersections without traffic lights with trucks and buses crossing the highway at will.
Add more pedestrians.
Add our driver who is constantly flashing his high beams and honking his horn every two minutes.
Maintain for one hour.
Yeah, even though I wasn't driving it is a bit overwhelming.
I get to do it again tomorrow!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
The restaurant on the first floor has been entertaining many a Christmas party, there was one last night that had the music thumping till the wee morning hours.
I had been thinking about why all the Christmas frenzy in a predominately Buddhist country, but I realized this was a British colony and the tradition certainly was passed down.
Now only if they can pass down the price of the frozen turkeys! Around $9 per kilo!
Paperback 419 pages
By the name one can tell it's from the Alex Cross series, and I know, reading James Patterson, how cliche'. As with any James Patterson books it's chock full of murder and bloodshed and in the end Alex Cross saves the day.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Well lo and behold he's back, he's bad and he' gray again. I'm curious if it's a plastic or concrete statue.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
I have my theories.
Was it removed to be cleaned? Maybe? But, there are many Christmas tree's springing up throughout the office building. In fact I wanted to get a picture that would have shown Buddha and a Christmas tree in one frame. I wanted to show the irony more than anything.
So, is it possible that the office management removed the Buddha statue so not to conflict with one faith over the other? I don't know. Maybe it was removed just to be cleaned, LOL, who knows/
But when the sun comes down the new show starts, the heat lightning and just plain old lightning that lights up the sky. It's pretty neat as there are no obstacles out in the ocean to distort your view so you can see the lightning from one end to the other.
Sometimes you can see the ocean lit up from the lightning, it's pretty neat.
Scattered clouds. Warm.
|Distance:||17 mi from Colombo|
|Description:||Scattered clouds. Warm.|
|Temperature:||88 °F||Comfort Level:||94 °F|
|Wind:||8 mph from 30° North-northeast|
|Last update:||Sun 10:40 AM IST|
Thursday, December 3, 2009
If I need any proof that this was a third world country.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
In Montevideo the cat food pouches just disappeared off the shelf never to return. Here they have 2 different flavors of Whiska, both fish, and both not entirely favorable to Cricket. Hard to describe what it looks like in her food bowl, not so appetizing.
Well I had noticed dog food in pouches and wondered a little bit about trying it. So the boss (Chris) went shopping with me and we both mulled over the dog food, the pouches were larger and the prices was better but the most important part, it was chicken flavored which both cats enjoy.
Bought two pouches and tried it on our feline friends.
The verdict? Two paws up! They ate it up well.
An no, they're not barking yet and unless you want your hand bit you better not rub their bellies!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Its been awhile since I can say I read a book I liked, and here it is. Seemingly a pretty long book but I was able to put it away fairly quickly.
As a geek I felt that some of it was a little overboard, but enough to be interesting.
This has been another typical Doc Report book review.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Spent five minutes trying to find my BlackBerry when I realized I must have left it at work, but that didn't matter as it hasn't been working lately. Obviously not so important to me. What I really needed from my BlackBerry was the number of a trishaw driver I wanted to call.
Decided we would just grab a trishaw from across the street as there is a trishaw station srand there. As we walked across the street there was the guy I was looking for, he was happy to see us.
He took us to Odel's, it was a short ride if you know how to get there.
The place was a mad house, wall to wall people. Lots of clothes that's for sure!
I finally broke down and bought some foo foo cologne, got to do it sometime, Hugo Element.
We had sushi at a sushi bar and cold coffee and a doughnut at the doughnut place.
Had the driver take us to a shopping mall. Three floors of shoes and clothes. I picked up some great linen pants, they had the tag removed, my guess they were Banana Republic pants. Great price, about $17.
Came back home to relax and I went out to get some curry to bring back to the apartment. I also got some chocolate mousse but after reading the ingredients not sure if I can eat one again. Creme, eggs, chocolate, oh my!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I have a special badge that gets me access to all areas of the airport. Funny thing as I walked around all of the secure areas of the airport nobody looked at me twice or asked to see my badge but when I was leaving I was stopped twice to check my badge.
I had to meet the plane at the tarmac and it had to have been the craziest and most dangerous tarmac I had ever been on. I threw on my reflective vest very quickly. Forgot my ear muffs, it's loud on the tarmac.
Everything worked out, got what I had to get and not a glitch.
Came back very early in the morning. There were dogs lying in streets everywhere! That and must have run into eight army checkpoints.
Nobody asked for any copies of the faxes.
Friday, November 20, 2009
We have this challenge game of sorts we play, being that she or me had just completed the worst flight ever.
I had held the record previously for my 3 day jaunt from Norfolk to Montevideo via JFK and Miami. That mission resulted in long delays in New York, a canceled flight resulting in a overnight stay in a run down Ramada in New York followed by a glitch of sorts starting the plane in New York resulting in at least an hour or more delay at the ramp followed by mechanical problems in flight to Buenos Aires resulting in rerouting the flight to Miami followed by hectic crowds at gate trying to rebook our flights resulting in a overnight in Miami (Okay, not so tough). I eventually made it to Montevideo. A 13 hour flight from Washington took 3 days.
So I get points for switching carriers (Delta to American at JFK), long delays, international flight, long haul flight, and multiple days.
My beloved is officially over the middle east right now on her way here.
So far she earns points for:
Stress and tears (No points for tears, counts for a tie breaker)
Confusion at ticketing (Never good)
Business Class upgrade turned down because of no pets in Business Class (Quite possibly worthy of winning with that category alone)
Long Haul Flight
Multiple Time Zones
Reclaim pets and go through customs and security (Bonus points)
Long Delays (See http://tiny.cc/SP7W8)
Running through the terminal (Bonus points)
Questionable Carrier (Sri Lankan Air, hmmm)
Last but not least a one hour ride back home.
Oh did I mention she gets here at 04:45! Talk about oh dark !
Yes she takes home the trophy!
Thank goodness I have an expediter when she gets here, basically he will take all the cat paperwork and her passport, take her to the front of the line at customs and passport control and get us out pretty quickly. I also hold a special airport badge that gets me access past customs and passport control so I get to meet her soon after she gets off the plane.
My employer is picking me up in a pretty cool Toyota Landcruiser. The driver asked me if it was big enough, I said I hope so!
I knew this wasn't good.
When I got to work I heard that there were people from work who also had their homes flooded. It must have really rained pretty hard Tuesday night.
I work a half day on Friday so it's my only day to see her and talk to her. As she smiles away and makes curry for me she says the water was 3 feet deep and everything is ruined.
I don't know what to say but, I'm sorry.
She tells me lunch is ready and politely leaves the room. Awhile later she returns and asks if she could get her salary, she needs things, well I guess so. I tell her no problem and she hands me an envelope from the apartment across from me, which she also cleans. The gentleman who lives there wrote on the envelope that he is going away for a week and told her not to worry about coming over till December 1st. Well she was pretty upset. One, she thought he had left her salary in the envelope, it wasn't, it was just a notice from the apartment building and two, she was afraid that he wouldn't pay her for the week. That and, she needed the money.
I could see she was crying. I think a combination of being in the situation she was in and the embarrassment of asking to get paid earlier and probably because she felt she was bothering me as I was at my laptop and I told her I would have to go get the money as I didn't have it.
I went to the ATM at the mall and withdrew her salary and a little more, bought her daughter a Kinder Joy egg (German chocolate egg with a toy inside).
It is raining pretty hard right now. I am going to give her some extra money to take a tri-shaw home, hope she does as there is lightning flashing everywhere.
Count your blessings.
Monday, November 16, 2009
This big bad boy broke away from it's tug during the recent nor'easter and floated to the beach, within 100 yards of a fishing pier.
There are few article on iReport (CNN) as well as Flickr and the like. Here is the local papers take on it:
Thanks to my bro' Paul for the vid, with cameos by Dad Meyer, Merle Ann and GiGi.
Check out Paul's other YouTube vids and subscribe.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Just returned from a church bazaar. All sorts of hand made goods and lots of goodies, can you guess which I indulged in? Hmm, mmm, iced coffee for 20 Rupees a cup, around $.15, wow, talk about sweet and strong! I went back for a second cup and they were sold out.
There was supposed to be a fancy dress competition. The idea being that the church is so multinational that maybe a few folks would dress up in the attire of his or her country and have a judging competition. I thought that would be interesting except the only entrants were some teenagers with a large letter taped to their shirt and they said they were undercover superheros. I think the letters may have represented their first names. Really the only person to show up in traditional garb was the reverend who being Scottish showed up in his kilt.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Well this was a huge departure from the usual spy thrillers I've been reading. Admittedly I wasn't exactly sure if I would continue reading the book after the first chapter or so. As a Christian I'm not "into" ghosts and spirits etc. and this was somewhat about that, but not entirely.
Strangely I liked the main character and although the story line was way out there, it wasn't a bad book after all.
I am hardly a book critic. Please visit Amazon for better reviews of this book : )
Well protocol dictates that I wait for the anthem to finish. Well I see people walking through the lobby, so I walk out and look, and the entrance guards are standing and the people in the bank are standing, now what.
The entrance guards smiled and acknowledged me, so I kept walking out. I should have waited.
So I asked my housekeeper just now if this is a daily thing and she said no, but once a month.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
And I know why they sound their horn as they approach my apartment, not because it's a good opportunity to annoy the residents but because the train goes around a curve and under the street right after the apartment. Thus alerting anyone (Who shouldn't) be on the tracks around the corner or I can imagine homeless people in the tunnel trying to stay dry.
I have noticed the older the train, the louder they are.
I was watching a video the other day about Sri Lanka and see that there is still a carriage car off the tracks in the southern part of the country. Victim of the tsunami. I see a train that goes by with the same color carriages. Reading some news articles I see the train that was victim of the tsunami was coming from Colombo which makes sense.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Funny thing is that the glass ceiling tiles in the office attached to my apartments leak everywhere. Often times when I go to work in the morning there is a clean up crew mopping up the puddles.
The restaurant here also has a few leaks as well. They collect the water in wine buckets. Also they put cloth napkins in the wine buckets so to dull the sound of the rain falling into the bucket, otherwise, ding ding ding.
4 days forecast
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Paperback 707 pages
This book took me forever to finish reading! Came close to putting it away for good a couple of times, but I usually finish the books I start reading.
The end of the book started going a little overboard with what I call "the bad guy dialogue", as in, I'm going to kill you after I completely explain my evil plan etc.
Love Robert Ludlum's Bourne series, but pass this one up.
Sundays here the cleaning crew arrives and it's field day. Mostly older ladies, barefoot, tackling everything. I think they go a little overboard sometimes as they take an electric floor polisher and scrub the driveway and sidewalk in front of the office building attached to the apartments. Men set up scaffolding and clean windows and incredibly enough clean the glass that makes up the ceiling, crazy. I say crazy as most of the glass is badly cracked, the balance themselves on the beams that go across between the panes.
Well, so I thought that was bad. The other day when I was at the pool I looked down to see this barefoot guy on top of a corrugated tin roof scrubbing away at the grime with a scrub brush and hose. That's so bizarre on so many levels, first his safety, but who is going to notice? Only people that live in my apartment. And who cares?
As of yesterday he had scrubbed about 1/4 of the roof.
I passed the Galle Face Green and walked past a hotel only to come to a road block and some guard telling me I couldn't go any further, you think so? So I had to double back, which I found myself doing a few more times.
It was crazy hot and the humidity was awful.
I'd find myself at a traffic circle with no real way of getting to the other side short of just running across at the appropriate time. Hard to explain or visualize.
This young kid approached me with the elephant festival scam, I noticed a tri-shaw close behind him. I realized he had gotten out of the tri-shaw as they work in teams, looking for tourists. Oh tri-shaw, no more tuk tuk, like a tri-shaw driver told me, only Americans and Europeans call them tuk tuks, they are called taxis, tri-shaws and three-wheelers here.
Back to the kid. I decided to mess with the kid, act excited, like a dumb tourist, only his English wasn't so good. So when I am tired of all of this and cannot believe how stupid he is as I am acting like the most gullible tourist and when I finally explained to him that I live here and know that he is a 'tout' he didn't understand. The tri-shaw driver understood, he explained it to the kid, or so I thought, as the kid still didn't get it. I just walked away which I should have done in the first place.
I passed some busy, noisy markets, I had to have been the only Westerner.
It was pretty hot and all I needed was one tri-shaw driver to ask me if I needed a ride and I would give in. When one of them did ask me, I jumped at the chance.
This also served a purpose. How? I wanted to see how to get back to my apartment! I was surprised to see that all I had to do was turn right and keep going, and going and going, but it was the main drag.
I will have to say Montevideo was so much nicer a city for going on long walks. All I had to do was leave the apartment and go right or left and ended up at the rambla and I could walk unobstructed for miles.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
When I got off work I could see how dark it was outside, I knew there was no escaping the wet stuff. But I came prepared.
I always carry an umbrella but I also have a military issue poncho. No points for style, but what it lacks in style in makes up for keeping me and my backpack dry. Supplement that with my umbrella and I'm pretty dry, less my shoes and the bottom quarter of my pants!
I knew that pocho would come in handy one day!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
When I went for a walk this past weekend along the Galle Face Green I thought it was funny to see Sri Lankan couples sitting on the benches hidden behind parasols making out : )
This is a very conservative country and open displays of affection are not accepted.
This is a huge departure from Montevideo where a walk along the rambla would leave you blushing and ready to call out "Get a room!"
Monday, October 26, 2009
Fridays is pretty much the only day I can meet up with my housekeeper so I try to keep a tally of things to do and not to do, the main subject has been what to iron and what not to iron.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Went to a 70's Disco party last night, many people arrived dressed in some crazy 70's fashions.
What some people had done is bought the material here and had tailor made his and her shirts or dresses whatever made and they hold onto it for another theme party or Halloween etc.
It was a catered event and the food was delicious.
I was looking for a good picture to post, but because it wasn't my party and to protect the innocent I won't.
Found a picture. I was telling this guy I would have done anything for a shirt like this in 1979!
As I thought a Google search of his name brings up my blog so in respect to his family I offer my condolences and I won't blog about this any further.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I won't try to make this an obituary and chances are pretty good that this is one of the first widespread public notices to go out, so I am not going to state any facts etc.
I've known Pastor Fritz for years. My Dad had taken me to a couple of his services in "The Barn" way back in the early 70's. It was a new church and the services were held in a barn. Honestly I don't recall him but I do know during one of his services he said to hug the person next to you and there just happened to be a girl next to me that kind of freaked me out as a kid!
I'm not sure when Pastor Fritz gave this new church the name 'Open Door Chapel', he was a former Navy Chief and thought chapel sounded more inviting and what could sound more inviting than 'Open Door Chapel'!
In the early 80's I had attended a few of his services at the Open Door Chapels present location, an old theater (Princess Theater) in Virginia Beach. The services were often standing room only.
In the late 90's when I was dating my then girlfriend we would attend the 'Open Door', the standing room services were no more but there was a god bunch of regulars.
Pastor Fritz married my wife and I in his office in 1998.
Not sure when Pastor Fritz retired because of health reasons but something just happened to the 'Open Door" after that and the congregation just kind of dwindled after that.
I will always remember his Easter Sonrise services at the ocean front in Virginia Beach. Even for locals who don't attend church going to the sun rise service was a tradition.
Pastor Fritz taught me quite a bit, he was a Godly man to look up to. I'm free to say I didn't always agree with what he said or how he did things, I'm sure he wouldn't mind me saying that.
Thanks Fritz for all that you've done, I know God has a special place for you in His kingdom.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Everyone is smiling and cheerful at work, it's nice.
Just an observation.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
If you click on this thumbnail you can see the fire escape and glass ceiling that I was talking about. The veiling is throughout the building and is cracked and leaking just about everywhere.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Here is the carnage from my first day of unpacking. I unpacked quite a few boxes and dragged them to the freight elevator and called it quits. Then I got a second wind and unpacked some more boxes and left them in the apartment.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The movers arrived with all of my household effects, 118 boxes of it, to include a king sized bed that will have them all cursing me under their breath today (More of that).
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Remembered to turn off the coffee pot this morning, always a good
thing. Friday's I get off at 12:00PM so it makes for a short day.
Decided to go the Galle Face Hotel and check out the "jumbo burger
fiesta" special that I had seen on there web site, hamburger, fries, 2
servings of drink and a big fruit tart for 480RP, about $4USD.
I went home and changed and walked all two blocks to the hotel. This
is a really big fancy hotel considered one of the oldest and nicest in
the Orient. I ask about the hamburger special at one of the reception
desks and I am directed to a restaurant by the beach. It's apparent
when I get there that they didn't sell hamburgers. I asked the
hostess and she directed me to the other end of the hotel. Again I
can't find it, asked another girl and I gave her what I thought was
the name of the restaurant, she thought I was looking for the
restrooms but eventually she pointed me in the right direction which
was up some stairs. It still wasn't obvious where this place was as
there was yet another restaurant, but I found it. The place looks and
from some respects is a pastry shop of sorts.
I ordered the chicken burger which came with cold coffee or apple
drink, go figure, I took the cold coffee. The "burger" was the oddest
thing, it had a chicken patty but also a burger patty (Frozen kind).
It was good, not overly good, but definitely filling. I got the fruit
tort that came with the special to go and they packed it in a fancy
box. I gave it to the reception lady at the apartments.
Not long after I returned home I realized my stomach didn't feel well.
This will pass I thought. Tried laying down, but the feeling
wouldn't go away. I realized that hours had passed and I really felt
worse, my stomach was in knots. I went to the shopping mall across
the street and bought some Maalox kind of stuff hoping it would sooth
my stomach, it didn't. A few more hours go by and I was doubled over
in agony, time to go to the hospital. I call a cab company and they
said it would be 20 minutes before the taxi arrived. It was raining
cats and dogs outside so they were probably all tied up. Although I
didn't want to I would grab a tuk tuk. I grabbed some Rupee's and my
work ID and BlackBerry, went down and took a tuk tuk to the hospital.
All the while the tuk tuk driver telling me how poor his family is and
how tight money is, this is expected.
We arrive at the hospital and a gentleman directs me to triage. There
is a doctor sleeping behind the desk and I wake him up with a few
"Excuse me's". I tell him the problem and he wants to take blood
tests and a ECG test, why I don't know. A nurse takes me back and
gives me a blood test and ECG and when I step out of the room I'm told
to pay up. Well I only grabbed enough Rupee's for a ride back and
forth. I didn't expect to have to pay right there and then. I told
them I would come back tomorrow and pay and they said no problem. I
was told to go see the doctor at triage again. I go see him and he
looks at my ECG and says that it looks good and writes me a
prescription and tells me to go back to the cashier. The savvy reader
will note the time frame here, the blood was never tested. I go back
to the cashier and again explained I only had enough for a cab ride
home. They asked how much I had and I showed them 800 Rupee's, the
bill was 1300 Rupee's, they said that was enough. Realizing I am
fighting a losing argument (Coming back and paying), I give them my
Rupee's and left.
There was a tuk tuk parked outside and I asked the driver if he was
willing to take me back and wait for me to run up to my apartment and
grab some Rupee's, no problem he said.
We get back and I run up and count what Rupee's I had, not much, about
150 and I negotiated 400 Rupee's with him. I grabbed some good ol'
American green backs and went down. Gave him the stack of small Rupee
bills I had and told him I didn't have anymore, he could take me to a
ATM or take these U.S. Dollars. I knew this wouldn't be a problem, it
wasn't. He got around 3 times the original negotiated price, probably
I don't even know where I could get the prescription filled this time
of the night if I wanted to, that and it's a crummy rainy night
anyway, that and I feel (Somewhat) better.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Part of Hindu Temple "Sri Shiva Subramania Swami Kovil" - Colombo, Sri Lanka
Originally uploaded by gutek
Here is a photo of the Hindu temple that I saw today.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
"The word derives from Swarnadip, the Sanskrit language name for Sri Lanka,"
And here I am, yet another chapter in the Doc Report begins. Follow me if you will from Sarajevo, Baghdad, Jeddah, Montevideo and now the tropical island of Sri Lanka.
I arrived this morning around 0230 local time via Sri Lankan Air. And lest I forget a friendly Ayubowan to all!
My journey started on from good ol' Norfolk, VA (ORF) to the ever so popular New Yorks JFK and onward to London, Heathrow via Delta Airlines. Had a bit of a problem in Norfolk as the ticket agent was convinced I had a 3 month visa for Sri Lanka, I told her it wasn't a problem but she had to check with her supervisor. I managed to stay awake and fairly comfortable the flight "over the pond" watched two movies. The last leg to Colombo was a solid 10 hours and 45 minutes. Thankfully I had a window row to myself so I could stretch a little. The flight attendants were super friendly and wore really neat traditional style clothing as uniforms.
Someone from the work was there to greet me and being so late at night there was no traffic and didn't see the city.
First impressions of my new apartment? Let me put it this way, WOW!.
At least 1 1/2 times the size of my apartment in Montevideo. Any of the guest bedrooms here is the size of my master bedroom in Montevideo and each guest bedroom has a full bath, which are larger than the master bath I had in Montevideo.
My master bathroom is huge as is my living room. The best was waiting for me as I opened my patio door, do you hear it?
The Indian Ocean, probably 100 yards away. Okay I can't swim there but the waves crashing do provide a wonderful backdrop.
There are a few quirks as can be expected, oh maybe like railroad tracks also in front of the apartment and before the beach. As I tried to sleep last night I heard "HONNNNNK HONNNNNNK!!!", my brain asked, "Was that a train?", yes all hours of the night and day, speaking of one....
I woke up this morning and ventured out into my new world. Uhm, I'm not in Montevideo anymore! All I have to do is go to the sidewalk, turn right and walk about 5 minutes, there I am at work!
It's hot and humid, no make that, it's VERY hot and humid! I am sitting at my porch right now, the sun is down and it's 82F.
As soon as I get some batteries for my camera I'll take a few pictures of my new surroundings.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Blue flag with a white marlin, thus, white marlin.
It was pretty neat to back up into the slip and everyone on the docks pointed at the flag.
Someone explains it here
Thursday, July 9, 2009
We left very early, 4:30am to beat the other boats and headed for the gulf stream.
The sunrise was beautiful and we even saw a whale and some flying fish.
We first stopped at a light buoy out in the middle of nowhere way over the horizon. The deck hand baited up a pole, dropped the line and WHAM he said "Someone get in the chair!", we all took turns landing 25 to 30 lb Amberjacks, talk about fun! These guys really put up a fight! This was the warm up to the real thing.
We left that spot and the outriggers went out and trolling lures and baits went on. I was enjoying the comfy leather couch in the cabin when I heard the skipper yell "WHITE MARLIN!", well it was my turn in the chair and I jumped in and the deck hand told me to start reeling in fast, the skipper was yelling "FASTER DUDE! FASTER DUDE!" my arms were killing me, I was reeling in as fast as I could. Then she broke water and you can see her dance on the water, time stopped.
Beautiful, just beautiful. The deck hand touched the leader and said that it was now a confirmed catch, well the marlin must have heard that because she took of probably 100 yards out again! My arms got renewed strength and I reeled in till she got within gaffing distance and the deck hand landed her. The skipper came down and everyone wanted pictures. The skipper said that they are very rare and one would probably never see one fishing as long as they lived!
After all of the excitement I dropped her overboard.
We fished some more but never did catch any tuna.
I fell asleep in the cabin when I heard the engines slow down, I could see Virginia Beach and I knew we were pulling in. I came out on deck and everyone pointed out the flag on the outriggers. An upside down marlin flag, which signifies that we had caught and released a marlin. As we pulled in and the boat backed up you could see the fingers pointing at the flag, the only marlin flag that day in the inlet and certainly the only catch and release.
My brother in law took a video of me catching the fish and I hope to have it on YouTube this week.
Oh yeah, this was my birthday present and the best one I have ever had!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Just returned from the Waffle House on Northhampton Boulevard in Virginia Beach. What a wreck. The waitress told me all of the wait staff was new, thats not what scared me so much as the overall condition on the grill. I watched as one table got their order, took a bite and walked out and saw another lady order her meal to go, then just kind of got disgusted and walked out. It wasn't that bad. I got my favorite sandwhich, a patty melt, but it wasn't how I remembered.
Friday, July 3, 2009
The flight was pretty much uneventful. The meals where great and the one touch seat that turns into a full lay down bed was nice. I put in my ear plugs and snoozed away.
Watched "Grand Torino", great movie.
Well time to stroll to my gate, maybe get my first good ol' American Duncan Donut while I'm at it!
Oh, still catching myself speaking Spanish, going to be hard to break that habit.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009