The entire Rubesh clan (except for Kristian who is a stickler when it comes to alcohol) plus Steph traipsed up to the bar for a drink on the last night of our beach spell, which was received very well by Nicky who cockily waved about his own Bailys class with suave confidence. Pastor Ted A. Rubesh’s one comment?
“Good. We’re getting him started young.”
Going back in time a little here, the few days before our stint at the coast were full of activities of the tourist sort. We visited the Botanical Gardens (which were apparently the pleasure gardens of the last king of Sri Lanka, King Sri Vikrama Rajasingha) and had a wonderful time “ooooohing” and “aaaaaahing” at glorious arrays of orchids, poisonous snappers, rare trees and bats.
Childhood story time. Apparently, when I was little, I was met with a flock of schoolgirls, in this exact garden, who all decided that this strange, foreign baby would be interesting to pick up. Despite the crying, my stubborn streak kicked in and I turned on my heel and took off through the flowerbeds as fast as my little legs could manage…tailed closely by the grabbing, yelling, running flock. Where were my parents? Laughing. The entire time. Did they think to rescue me? No. I do not remember this childhood nightmare, but I am reminded of it every time we visit that garden by my dear father, who has never quite gotten over the incident himself.
The gardens are also full of prime hide-away spots for kanoodling couples avoiding the prying eyes of protective parents and wagging tongues (no pun intended). They are everywhere. They are like the plague. Thankfully, we had our own couple this time, so we didn't feel quite as out of place despite the fact that they weren't quite as schmoozy.
The next trip was a spontaneous undertaking wherein the family packed in the car and bumbled off to the town of Nuwara Eliya.
Nuwara Eliya is “tea country” you see, and for any visitor to Sri Lanka, “tea country” is a must. It takes about two and a half hours and three thousand hairpin bends (give or take a few) and there you are, in the most gorgeous tea in the world. Its cooler up in them hills (occasionally even requiring a sweatshirt, would you believe) and so was the main stomping grounds for the old colonial Brits. Consequently, Nuwara Elya boasts golf courses, gardens, horse race tracks, tea bungalows and an abundance of little holes in the wall selling winter gear.
On the way up we made our traditional stop at Labookelie Tea Estate, where we took Steph on a jaunt through the tea factory and then sat ourselves down in the lovely little garden of the tea -house and took mid-morning tea in white china.
The Rubesh clan, unfortunately, is not exactly favorable to a sophisticated, quite atmosphere, and I don’t think the staff appreciated our poking and prodding of their decorative reindeer. It cannot be denied though that we have fun together (the reindeer looked evil anyway).
Moving forward once more, returning from the beach proved to be a massive excitement caused by none other than one of my favorite people on this earth: Melissa Wimalarathne. Melis and I have gone through laughs, tears, Geography class, rainforests, oceans, plays, swimming meets, sleep overs, sports meets and all the drama that goes on in a girls life between the ages of 11 and 21. She is the best and getting to see her after two and a half years has been one of the highlights of this trip! When she called and proposed lunch, it wasn’t even a question. The plan was Buddhini, Melissa and I meet up at the grocery store and head out to the restaurant of choice thereafter. So there we were yelling our heads off in the middle of the grocery store, when a certain Ms. Christina Peter emerged from the ice-cream isle with the coolness of a cucumber salad. I could do nothing but stand there and gape at her with mouth open and thoughts racing. What the heck. Chris made up the third of our trio at school and is another favorite. She is scarily intelligent, funny, blunt, organized to a fault and was supposed to be in Germany visiting her parents as a break from med school. Instead, she decided without a word to anyone to fly down to the motherland and cause the shock of our lives to occur.
Buddhini, Melissa and Chris...in that order.
We were complete, and it was humorously appropriate that our friends 21st birthday party had a “back to school” theme going on. We celebrated Kavindha’s one-and-twenty in an old tea factory with about a hundred other people, enough food to feed a small nation, and a top-notch DJ - good times. One is bound to have a good time when one manages to cram roughly ten éclairs down ones throat…the sugar high is unavoidable.
On that note, folks, I'm off for a round of coffee with the ma. Two hours of sleep calls that necessary.