Why I love the Internet

Three decades after my summer in Sri Lanka, and 25 years with no contact, the wonders of the web reunite me with Delanie, my host sister from the city of Mt. Lavinia.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Must have been a dream

Must have been a dream
Dear sister DelanieMissy,
I had the most wonderful dream that you and I met up in the States, it was in New York City of all places, and spent a couple of emotional and unforgettable days together with your husband and my family. In my dream, Duleep was the tour guide through the city in MY COUNTRY, in MY STATE! Can you imagine such nonsense? I know if we ever were to meet here in the states, Doug and I would certainly know how to get around, and where to go and what to see and eat and do in MY COUNTRY, in MY STATE, for heaven's sake. We would be the most ideal and unimposing hosts. You will never have to worry about such silliness as visiting a store full of extremely expensive dolls, which also happened in my dream. HA! Dreams are funny, aren't they?
More soon, it was such a wonderful dream and I will tell you more about it.
All the best,


Pinch me

I am in my kitchen peeling back some leaves--plantain?--that are wrapped around the ball. There is a funky, queasy-making and ever-so-slightly familiar smell, and I am hoping that when I remove the leaves, the smell will not be there. Tle leaves come off in two pieces, retaining the shape of the jaggery. I discard them and lift the heavy, softball-sized mass to my nose. It is molasses-brown and glittering with sweet crystal-- solid sugar, I guess. The odor is detectable, but just barely. With a sharp knife, I pry off a small hunk and let the bit melt on my tongue, closing my eyes and remembering sitting on a hot and crowded bus in 1975, doing just as I am now, savoring the exotic sweetness of the treat that gave me the nickname "JB", Juggery Balls.

Why is it that my memory of my summer in Sri Lanka over 30 years ago seems more tangible than my trip last weekend to New York? Did I really see my Srilankan sister in the lobby of the Best Western City View in Queens? I was just leaving her a note at the front desk when she spotted me, and we hung on each other, clinging like young lovers, repeating "I can't believe it! I just don't believe it" as we stumbled to the parking lot to introduce her to my family. Then came her husband, Duleep, who had been her boyfriend in '75 and grinned at the delirium before him.

Pinch me.