Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Consuming The Consumables

Over a year ago we received our shipment of consumable items. We were of course curious to see how far the items would go.

Kitty litter (about 400 pounds) and kitty food, long gone
Peanut butter, long gone
Balsamic vinegars, still have
Mustards, still have
Restaurant sized plastic wrap and aluminum foil, plenty left

What we do have plenty of is cleaning supplies. Initially we had a difficult time making sure our housekeeper would use it. I think she was afraid to and she would end up purchasing stuff at the store when we sent her shopping. Now she knows to use it. We probably have a good years worth of cleaning supplies left.

Now the toothpaste and toothbrushes was used up a few months ago. What has remarkably held out is my 10oz can of Skintimate shaving lotion. Yes it's a woman's shaving lotion but like I mentioned before it's an old Drill Instructors trick to use it, works great. I think the original can will deplete this week, but whats cool is that it also came with a free travel size can and at this rate it will last me another two months at least!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Book Corner - Finished Reading

The Spiders of Allah: Travels of an Unbeliever on the Frontline of Holy War by James Hider
336 pages

I couldn't read this book fast enough. It was a real eye opener. I'd have a hard time explaining the book, which is why I pretty much never write a review.

It's a good read.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I don't know if you have ever watched the NBC show Outsourced, I love it.

I have almost choked on what I was eating from laughing so hard while watching it. Why?

The show is about an American who has to work in India and him learning about the culture and nuances. The similarities between the show and what we deal with living in Sri Lanka are very close.

In one episode the "head bobble" is explained to him. "Sometimes it means yes, sometimes it means no, sometimes it means maybe". Scary thing is after you've been here awhile you can actually tell what head bobble is which. Case in point, I was at this event and this girl asked a gentleman to take our picture. He pointed the camera and bobbled his head, I knew that meant, "Nope, didn't get the picture", she showed him how to use the camera and he tried again and bobbled, my guess this was a "Maybe", it was, one more try and another head bobble, he took a good picture. Scary thing is, I have caught myself head bobbling a time or two.

Other aspects of the show deal with the food, cleanliness, tuk tuks, food poisoning, things we deal with pretty on a daily basis.

Believe me, the show is much funnier if you have ever lived in India or Sri Lanka.Link

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Book Corner - Finished Reading

Silent Partner (Alex Delaware Novel) by Jonathon Kellerman
512 Pages
Mystery Thriller

This is my third book by the author and I was hoping to enjoy it. Unfortunately it just dragged on towards the end. I think he could have easily wrapped it up 200 pages earlier.

It did have a good twist at the end, even two twists, but it's almost not worth getting there.

I was really surprised by all of the positive reviews on Amazon. All in all not a good read.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Utility Bill Cometh

The other day when I walked into our elevator lobby our receptionist handed me an envelope. As I waited for the elevator I went ahead and opened it and noticed it was an electric bill. I tried explaining to her that these usually go directly to the company which she I wasn't able to make her understand so I took it with me and would bring it to work the next day.

I took a better look at the bill to see how much it was and initially I kind of shrugged it off, then I felt bad. Now I know that electricity is supposed to be expensive here, we live on an island, but this bill was big. How big?

I'd say about five times the amount for our home in Virginia.

In Virginia we can keep the windows open and use the ceiling fans and only turn on the air conditioning on the hottest of days. We can't open most of the windows here as they have been sealed shut to keep out the heat. That and one wall has floor to ceiling windows that soaks up the heat.

We have five separate air conditioning units. They are in the bedrooms, living and dining room. But not in the kitchen or the maids quarters (our pantry), why? Because the designers figured that the tenants would not pay for air conditioning for their housekeepers who would be spending most of their time in the kitchen.

The sad thing is that our electric bill is only half of what the people living in houses receive, which is incredible to say the least.

We have been pretty good at turning off or turning down the air conditioners and now that we've seen one of electric bills with our own eyes, even more so.

But the electric bill is nothing compared to the rent on this place, that's a real eye popper.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Iraq Adventure

The WHAT! Come April 25th I am departing Sri Lanka for the States where I will start four weeks of training for a one year tour in Iraq.

This is something Chris and I had discussed and I was more concerned about her feelings about it and she was okay with it.

As some of you may know this won't be my first time to "The Sandbox" as I did a year in Baghdad during 2005. I was there for the elections and admittedly some bad times. I feel that things have calmed down considerably since I've been there, also I will not be going to Baghdad. I would rather be in the Green Zone, but I'm happy that I was just able to get a slot there as the positions were very hard to come buy.

Unlike my previous experience there the benefit$ won't be nearly as much, but there is a financial incentive that is very generous along with two paid trips to the States (or wherever you want to go) and three paid trips within the region, Basically Chris and I can meet every two months or so and she can catch a flight to Dubai, Amman, Charm-El-Cheik etc.

Where is Chris going to stay during my one year in Iraq? Well right here in Sri Lanka. The company gives you the choice of packing up and going to the USA and receiving a stipend or staying at your current location. Given that she has access to pools, beaches, the apartment is maintained, all utilities paid and we have a housekeeper, she'll stay here. That and we have a friend who will be starting a job in Singapore so I expect Chris will visit her when she needs a break from the city.

I hope to visit the gym more often while I'm there, not like the last time I was there (well honestly I quit going to the gym which was in a big tent after a rocket landed nearby and we could feel the concussion).