The man with the ‘Whassup?!’ printed on his black t-shirt who was booked to climb the trees in the garden and bring down the coconuts today is not coming as promised. Sumitra says he likes alcohol and he cannot climb the trees when he has drunk alcohol the night before. Then she explains that he drinks every night, so the coconuts may well remain in the trees long after we have left this house. The mango tree man turned up as well yesterday but a couple of months later than requested and the son and daughter-in-law (DIL) had been forced to trim the tree themselves.
Yesterday we were moving in on Saturday and today we are moving in on Sunday! You guessed it – tomorrow they may decide Monday is a good day on which to move.
Realistically work on the Pelawatta house has stepped up a pace with a plethora of men there yesterday. The solar panels for hot water are arriving and being installed today. Sri Lankan telecom are connecting us to the local fibre optic tomorrow. Curtain poles are being put up today but not by the original curtain supplier.
He failed to turn up to the first appointment because of ‘personal problems’ and when he did measure the windows, and there are lots of them, he didn’t send his quotation until he was phoned and asked for it several times. Then the curtain material chosen by the DIL is not available for some months and so the saga goes on. It would have been a good sale for him as there are roman blinds, full length drape curtains and a finer curtain, (like nets) which allow us to look out but the neighbours cannot see in. The DIL felt sorry for him but has given him every chance.
So one of the soon-to-be neighbours has recommended a local curtain shop and that is where the purchase will be made. They are less expense too than the first supplier.
All beds have been delivered although the bed that Gate Late phoned us about the other day when we were stuck in traffic was not ours and the delivery driver was sent to try someone else to deposit the bed with. The beautiful painting of the monk has not been collected yet but as soon as my bed is put together – today probably – we have to make another trip to Don Carolis so I can choose my bedroom furniture. I don’t want to choose the furniture until I see the ‘very good’ bed frame my son has bought for me and had shipped over.
This bed too is higher than the prescribed three feet from the floor where the control switches have been fitted so the very patient and accommodating electrician has had to undo his completed handiwork, cut out the plaster and move the switches to a higher position.
The ensuite bedrooms are being finished and mopped today, the maid’s bathroom and bedroom on the ground floor is complete but the tiles for the garage floor have still to be chosen and laid. The pump for the water system was fitted yesterday and the man who is to put the finishing touches to the staircase is doing that tonight, after the other workers have left. All the Beko electrical equipment comes today including a super duper fridge/freezer which was chosen yesterday. It filters the government water so dispenses with the need to carry in 5 litre plastic water containers. It also chills the water and make ice cubes from it. There is one section which you can change from a chiller unit to a freezer compartment and it is AA rated.
Sumitra and I were dropped off at Salon Nayana (35 years of making you beautiful) yesterday.
The photo taken from inside is meant to show you the palm trees on the skyline opposite the road. The salon is uni-sex with a frosted glass dividing wall providing privacy for the men.
The wash basin chairs have you almost horizontal – a weird experience. I wanted my hair washed in hot water as there is none here – it is always barely lukewarm. Of course a blast of chilled water was what first hit my head so I stopped the beautiful tiny girl who was shampooing my hair and asked her to please wash it in hot water. She did and shampooed it very well and finished off with a head massage.
My pedicure was done by the bespectacled bearded funky young man whose hat was glued to his head. I got more than I had bargained for as he massaged my feet and legs as far as my knees. I have as much Sinhalese as he has English so there were lots of smiles and nods during the one and a half hours the pedicure took. Meanwhile Sumitra had shed years off her age with her hair now an all over beautiful black.
A taxi, (a small white car), collected us and the driver waited whilst we shopped at a supermarket and then brought us back here. On the way back I took these photographs from inside the moving car. I am fascinated by the fact bamboo is used as scaffolding poles and I have mentioned the cricket pitch up the road so here it is.
I am becoming adept with the scabbard knife and have cooked for myself several times here. This becomes an adventure as the sweet potatoes the DIL bought in the supermarket were like no sweet potato I have ever seen. The skin was purple and the flesh white but they were the same size, shape and texture as a sweet potato. They didn’t really taste of much when cooked. I made soup yesterday but the vegetable labelled as leeks in the supermarket I am sure were large spring onions, but they are the same family and all turned out well. Son and DIL were grateful for it when they returned late last night.