Friday, 6 August 2010

And a Muthumudalige Pushpakumara to you too.

So, generalising wildly but usefully, it seems that Sri Lankan people are extremely friendly, and enjoy talking to foreigners. Usually without at any point trying to sell anything, though I did once have a handshake turned so seamlessly and expertly into a palm reading that I was halfway being introduced to the six children who are to enrich my 93 year long life before I realised what was happening. Though perhaps it was worth 500 rupees just to learn that I will, so the Hand foretells, be attending high school next year. As I am 32, I'm very excited about this. I wonder if they'll let be in that musical I've heard so much about? Anyway, apart from that guy, most people seem keen to talk to the ridiculous sweaty man in the concertina'd linen trousers just for the fun of it, but often without speaking much English. And my Singhalese is distinctly rusty these days.  Luckily, though, they really love their cricket. Unluckily, though, I merely mildly like my cricket. Which meant that in the last fortnight, I must have had a dozen conversations along the following lines:

Australia? Germany?
Oh! Freddie Flintoff!
Yes! Murali! 800!
(I was in Sri Lanka when Murali retired with a record-breaking 800th wicket. I would charactise the Sri Lankan response to this news as 'positive'.)
Yes! Andrew Strauss!

Now here, obviously, is where I ought to say the name of another Sri Lankan cricketer that I know. You will have guessed the problem with that. Of course, I could easily have learnt the name of another one, but the thing is, where is that policy going to end? I am pretty sure any given Sri Lankan could name more English players than I could name Sri Lankan players, however many I tried to memorise. Come to that, they could almost certainly name more English players than I could name English players.

I found a solution in the end, though. I just said 'Murali!' again, only with even more awe. Turns out that's fine.


Anonymous said...

So did you go up the mountain and see the dawn?

Piques said...

I bet if you had just shouted random names enthusiastically you would have gotten a smile and a nod all the same.

Kris said...

Excellent travel policy. At least you didn't tell anyone you're pregnant.

... "Estoy embarasado" is not "I'm embarrassed." Although after I said it, and the sailors I was chatting with started mimicking a big belly, I really, really was.

[why yes, I am stalking your back entries. i'm a new fan *waves*]