Today, I woke to the sound of firecrackers. Usually, it’s the sounds of animals – birds, squirrels, who really knows what? But yes, there are that many birds here and they sound wonderful first thing in the morning. I’ll have to see if I can record it and post it on my website somehow. Probably not today, but I’ll see what I can do.
But today, it was the sound of firecrackers. We looked out the door, and it looked like it was some kind of celebration or ceremony. See, it’s light out already, so it’s not for the color and light effects. Fahim’s not sure what type of celebration or ceremony, though. (Fahim says: I actually said that it might be a wedding ceremony or a home coming :p)
Today, I watched more episodes of 24 on DVD. I should mention that we don’t at the moment have a tv or a dvd player – but we do have two laptops, Fahim’s and mine, and that’s how we’ve been watching things. The really unfortunate part is that laptops typically have crappy speaker systems, and what with all the rest of the road noise, birds, firecrackers, cows, and horns from every type of vehicle possible, it can be hard to hear what’s going on. When we get a tv, it’ll be much better.
I’ve talked a bit about pirated DVDs before, but I haven’t mentioned that sometimes, you get three movies on a DVD, like we did with Tomb Raiders 1 and 2 and Charlie’s Angels 2. All three were recorded off the movie screen, (Fahim says: Tomb Raider 1 was recorded off an original DVD and was at acceptable DVD quality the other two were camera copies) all three were cut off somewhere, and sound quality on all sucked. (So I’m really writing this on Saturday, and by now, I don’t even remember if I actually watched Charlie’s Angels to the end. I don’t think I did. And I didn’t watch Tomb Raiders – Fahim took a look at those, but I don’t know if he watched all of it or what. Yeah, my memory sucks.)
Once more, Fahim had to go in to work for an hour or so. Sheesh, you’d think they’d cut him some slack. But no, that isn’t how it’s done in Sri Lanka. If he was in, say, Australia, of course they’d leave him alone, but because they know he’s in town, they keep sending him emails for things he’s supposed to do, they put things in his in basket, they call him – all for things that have to be done before his vacation is over. They know he’s in town, therefore, they keep sending it to him. Yeah, whatever. And he has to do it. So he goes to work.
While he’s there, Estere from Osoyoos, BC called looking for me. We haven’t sorted out our cell phone situation yet, and he’s still carrying the phone with the number that’s going to be mine. He tells them he’ll be back in an hour or so, so Estere says she’ll call back.
She does. Marci’s there, and they’re sitting on the futon I gave Estere and they’re making bread in my old bread maker. The connection keeps cutting in and out – well, heck, it’s an international call made to a cell phone in Sri Lanka. It can happen. I’m glad to hear from them. They’re happy for me and wish Fahim and I well. It’s so good to hear their voices. I miss Estere, she’s a great friend. But honestly, there are quite a few people I miss. We talk for ten minutes – it’s after midnight their time, and it’s still close to $2 a minute.
Fahim and I go grocery shopping. While at Food City, Fahim and I run into Fahim’s boss Sharmini (no, we didn’t break skin or leave any bruises). Fahim had told me before that Sharmini had been asking about me, probably cuz she was worried I was being locked at home and had no freedom or something. She doesn’t know me, or she wouldn’t be worried on that score. So when she met me, and she was really happy to meet me, I thought it was because of that. Nooooooo. It’s because she’s the first one – other than Robin and Deeno – who’s met me. She has the gossip factor.
Fahim and I head to the beef store. The man obviously remembers me as he asks where his picture is. How do I explain it’s a digital photo, and if he has an email address, I can email it? We don’t have a printer, so no go there.
Fahim also comments about how can the guy not remember me? I’m pretty distinctive, he says, and for that matter, everyone thinks he’s a foreigner. Okay, so he doesn’t look as Indian as most other Lankans, but to me, he looks like he belongs here. Trust me, he says, everyone thinks he’s a foreigner. Of course we’re a distinctive couple.
Fahim tells him we want some beef, 1 kilogram, so he hacks a hunk off from a piece that was sitting in the back, he weighs it, and voila! 1 kg of beef. He tosses is to his assistant, who starts to wrap it in newspaper, but the older man interrupts and says "plastic", so the assistant wraps my meat in plastic first, then newspaper, then plastic. Locals get it wrapped in newspaper, then put in a plastic bag. I’m special. When we got it home, I washed it off before I hacked it into pieces, and lo and behold, there was actual dirt on the beef. Who here is surprised? Anyone? Anyone? (visual: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.)
Fahim went back to his parents place to retrieve some of his things, including bank passbook and more Hindi movies. See, every other weekend, or thereabouts, his parents go to their other house in Kurunegala, which I’m fairly certain I’m spelling wrong. Fahim will correct me. (Fahim says: It was spelt right :p) This, I am also certain of. Anyway, his parents usually go Thursday afternoon, so they aren’t likely to be there this afternoon. Fahim goes over and retrieves a few important items, including his banking passbook for an account in Kurunegala, which I’m probably misspelling. We can’t do any banking at that branch without the passbook, even though Fahim has all his ID.
Remember the email Fahim retrieved for me yesterday? Well, among it was a whole bunch of email that I needed to respond to, so I spent a few hours answering emails. Most of the email was from family members who’d heard about my marriage from either aunt Jane, uncle Abe, or my grandmother.
My mass email informing everyone of my marriage to Fahim finally went out this evening. We don’t have a landline at home yet – they take a while to install, and installation is expensive, and we just haven’t even arranged for it yet. Will we get a landline? Unknown at this point. Cellular, relatively speaking, is cheaper. This means that we’ve been going to Fahim’s work to send and receive email, and for limited net surfing. (Fahim says: cellular is not actually cheaper calling charge-wise but you have to pay a lot more up front for a land line and it cannot be transferred over to a new house – even if it is just a block away – as you can do in North America. So you have to pay the up front charges all over again if you move to a new place ..)
So how does this affect you, dear reader? Well, I’ve already spelled out that I’m updating my blog once or twice a week. That’s the easy part. The other part is that I’ve been having massive problems sending email. The connection is slow enough, and Outlook is bloated enough, that something’s having a major cramp and is taking it out on my outbox. I have email in there that aren’t getting sent and have been sitting in there for days. This is another continuing and disturbing trend. Fahim is starting to nag me about switching to Eudora cuz it never has problems (insert whiny voice here.) Yeah whatever. (Fahim says: Oh ye of little faith :p)
So even though I’ve replied to some of the email I’ve received, my computer hasn’t actually sent it, so some of you haven’t received replies yet. Blech. We’re hoping we’ll have this solved soon. Like, really soon.