Week 5: School Holidays, Flu and the Fish Market

The plan went a little bit awry this week, but managed to get things quickly back on track.

The weekend (thanks to good old hormones, plus a fabulous kiddie party) saw a minor binge, nipped in the bud come Sunday night (phew! With me these things could go on indefinitely!).

Sri Lanka won the T20 World Cup! Congrats and well earned! But just to pose a thought (at the risk of rotten veggies/eggs being thrown at me) not sure if it’s such a big deal…it’s not like the real Cricket World Cup is it? How come there are TWO World Cups – one of them must count more… hey, I’m no cricket expert.

The week was a busy one with Easter and Avurudu (Sinhala and Tamil New Year) celebrations at school. Archchi’s (grandma – i.e: my mom’s)biscuits were wrapped up prettily in 40 bags and handed over in a basket. This is my never ending attempt at keeping things healthy with the kids, while at the same time trying to drill poor old archchi into going into business with her biscuits.

There’s nothing like them out there! In the sense that they are simple – not cookies, but biscuits – they’re not rich; they’re not double chocolate chip or peanut butter; they’re just chocolate biscuits, currant biscuits, cheese biscuits, almond biscuits…you get my drift! Everyone who’s tasted them thinks they’re something special. Even my Italian mother-in-law, who’s not the easiest to please, absolutely loves them! My husband’s British colleague called them Garibaldi’s! Why oh why won’t she make something of it? Sigh.

Squeaks and Ya Ya were a bit snotty, but I took them in to school anyway…it was just too much of a build up to disappoint –  the Easter Egg Hunt, getting dressed up for Avurudu etc. It had nothing to do with me wanting two more mornings to myself before the onslaught of the school holidays…nothing at all! Besides, they both had a ball.

This (possibly selfish) move gifted me with two flu-ridden, cranky kids starting the very first day of the holidays! Cold, cough, fever and weird oozy eyes to add to the mix; two nights in a row of coughing fits ending in projectile vomiting! Poor things, and even if I do say so myself, poor me! I just can’t bring myself to wake my live-in maid up in the wee hours of the night to clean up my kids’ vomit, despite her insisting that I do.

Well, what can I say, you reap what you sow, particularly being as stubborn as I can be. BUT kids are very resilient – Squeaks and Ya Ya are back in fighting form again today, fever free and wreaking havoc. They mustered up the energy to beat each other up with the rolling pin and later on, repeatedly gang up on me, which is a clear sign of recovery.

Being on the verge of catching this nasty flu myself, I’ve been stuffing myself with vitamin B complex, Samahan, kotthamalli, and bees honey and lime mixes. So far holding forth!

Missed a day of working out this week as felt truly grim; restarted today again!

Have been alternating between Jillian Michaels’ ‘Level 3 of the 30 Day Shred’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWzQj7Be7zI and her Cardio kick-box https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9avonsRVok . Intense. Did one aerobics class!


In preparation for the arrival of the husband early tomorrow morning, I visited the fish market today. The fish market that we frequent is not a real fish market – although there’s yelling and a fair bit of slapping fish around, you don’t have to go in wielding a bucket with your gumboots on. However, it’s not exactly ‘Fresh Fish’ in Colombo 07 either. It is ‘Sirilak Seafood’ in Battaramulla (I’ve just discovered they have their own Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sirilak-Super-Sea-Foods/428421013898589).

Anyway, I go here often, and the fish is fantastic; sometimes the place is crowded (being a fish market after all!), but never unmanageable. What I didn’t take into consideration today was the Avurudu rush. As a result, I didn’t so much find myself in a fish market as caught up in a maniacal throng of crazy people each hell bent on their own fishy endeavours.

I have discovered that THE AUNTIES are the worst; they are the bane of all other unsuspecting fish buyers out there; they are a force to be reckoned with. They come in various ages, shapes and sizes. They’re recognisable by their usually floral skirts and self-coloured blouses (or vice versa), sometimes looking meek, other times looking menacing with an unhealthy gleam in their eyes, generally carrying a shopping bag and a hand bag and sometimes an umbrella.

They WILL poke in front of you or somehow burrow their way in next to you; they WILL NOT hesitate to elbow you or shove you out of the way; they WILL keep moving forward regardless of who or what may be in their paths; they WILL NOT entertain any argument or protest at their behaviour.

Today I saw grown men (the usual breakers) quake and be shoved out of the queue with not the courage to utter but a minor complaint under their breaths; I saw children flying in fear of being squished by THE AUNTIES. I had a half a mind to walk right out and buy some fish from the supermarket! But the thought of poor hubby so looking forward to some fresh seafood after arriving from hell, along with the challenge of THE AUNTIES, drove me on.

To be honest, the only reason I managed to get some fish was that a malli (little brother) behind the counter saw me drowning beneath a swarm of aunties and took it upon himself to ask what I wanted. If not for him, I may still be there, being shunted from one end of the counter to the other, flailing my arms wildly trying to get someone’s attention (uncle uncle, aney uncle! Malli! Aiyo, MALLI!).

I actually got yelled at by one aunty for asking if there was Gal Maalu (white mullet) today; ‘gal maalu thiyenne ara patthe, methane nemey! Methane isso vitharai!!!’ (the white mullet is over there, not here! Here there are only prawns!)…apparently you’re not allowed to ask the malli to choose your fish for you, you have to go right over to it and point it out (aunties’ rule number 535 in the handbook). I’m proud to say I held my own, ‘ne, kamak ne, me malli mata ethanin aran denawa’ (no, it’s ok, this malli will get it for me from there)…and very silently to myself, ‘BUHAHAHAHAHAHA, SCR*W YOU AUNTY!’ I left very satisfied and my coffers full with Gal Maalu and Isso.

A chaotic week comes to a close with the arrival of “Papa’”after a month and a half! All very excited; better get some z’s in or will be so excited will faint on his arrival, or rather on the arrival of the driver to pick up the car before that, at 4am!

Ciao and happy weekend!




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