Mangoes and Auspicious Days

mangoThe breakfast mango was truly the most delicious I have ever tasted.   Think about double the size of the green and red ones that sit on the shelves in Irish supermarkets, and this one had a yellow skin similar to a honeydew melon.   It was shared between three of us and the stone kept to be planted in the grounds of the new house in Pelawatta.  Contrary to the in-laws’ disdain of supermarket foods, this superb mango was purchased at the supermarket and there will be more purchased in the hope that cross pollination means we can grow similar in a trellis like fashion along the walls that surround the Pelawatta house.  The daughter-in-law believes this mango has been cross-bred to produce such succulent flesh within the fine golden skin.

I still haven’t seen the complete preparation of a Rotti.   The air conditioning was working in my bedroom last night and when I did get to sleep it was too cold at 26 degrees, so turned it up a few degrees.  I must be getting acclimatised to the intense heat here.  I don’t have one single pain in my joints which is wonderful.   Being so comfortable I slept in until around 7.30 am and breakfast preparations were well advanced.

The Rotti today was made with the husks of grain which is ground down to produce a fine but heavy flour.  (Nothing is wasted in this country.)   It is grade 3 flour I think but at times translations are difficult and one is never sure that the smiling face nodding in agreement actually understands, but we will get there.

A small amount of the grain mix, about the size of a golf ball is worked together and rolled in the palm of the hand until completely smooth.  The round ball is then flattened in a metal dish about the size of a side plate.  It is then griddled over a mesh plate which sits atop a small frying pan on the stove.  I could only eat half a Rotti, because the mango, was followed by an omelette filled with local vegetables.

Most Auspicious Time

We are moving into the Pelawatta house on Monday, after 10 am, and must not return to stay in this country house.   A local monk has been consulted as to the most auspicious time on which to move house.   He consults astrology charts before giving his verdict, and his advice is followed to the letter.   It is forecast to rain on Monday for the first time in a month, so I wonder.

The president who stopped the 30 year war and who governed this country when I first travelled here five years ago, also consulted the Monks as to the most auspicious time to go to the people for re-election.   I am told that they gave him the most auspicious date.  He could have stayed in power for months longer, but he took their advice, went to the country early, yet he failed to get re-elected.  So did the Monks have their own agenda?   I know so little about this country, Buddhism or political matters I wouldn’t know what to think.

But we will move on Monday come what may.

The rush is on now for all the last minute things, like curtains, (ready in another ten days); the Beko appliances to be delivered on that day, removal van to be booked for what they are taking from this house.  There are no such things as removal vans and removal men here.   They had a van to bring the toilets, wash hand basins and sinks etc from the Pelawatta house to here for storage and a very elderly man as thin as a stick but wiry and strong, accompanied the van.  The son says they were all helping him, worried he would topple over.    The said toilets, wash hand basins and sinks and anything else not needed for the Pelawatta house will be moved once more to Haputele, in the tea plantations in the mountains where the retirement home will be built, once the work on the Pelawatta house is complete.

I will stay in a hotel for a couple or three nights.    The dust has to be cleared from the Pelawatta house before I can move in.  Besides which, my especially bought mattress and bed is amongst the furniture, crockery, electrical goods and linens etc in a container, unloaded in the docks, but yet to be signed for and transported to the new house.

Exciting times ahead.





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