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Batiks and Guest Dinner

February 28, 2008

Tom – no instructor class this morning, so Helen and I went to Matara. 

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We went to the post office to mail our India visa forms to Colombo.  This is the second time we have had to fill out visa forms because the Fulbright office gave us old ones the first time around.  We then went to a well known batik shop, the bank, got gas, and then went to Cargills Food City for staples and to get items for dinner.  Kanthi and Darme are coming this evening for dinner; Kanthi (Chair of the Physics Department and the Sport Advisory Council) has been my main contact/helper in Matara.  She has been terrific!  I will be giving her a Cross pen and pencil set and a copy of my Biomechanics of Sport book to thank her for all her help.

Helen – He talks like it was an easy task finding the post office!!  Looking on the old map of Matara hanging by the front door, he determined it was close to the police office.  Been there, done that, so we knew where that was.  Didn’t see it the first time around the loop, and the second time I saw several people putting something into two yellow bins (looked like postal boxes) with national flags flying on either side.  I conclude this must be the post office…Wrong…it was the temple!!!  Tom walks past me waving the large envelop that must be mailed today.  Walks down the block to a post office but they can’t help him, they don’t do rush mail.  He goes to a private postal service near Food City, nope, can’t help us either.  Once again he returns to the car with “the envelope” and directions to go to the main post office by the bus terminal, which we finally find…Hurrah!!  Mailed at last.

The Batik shop was located in a private home.  An elderly woman answered the door and speaks very good English.  Welcomes us into her home and unlocks a door to a showroom.  Her husband, the designer, comes now to show us his work.  His designs are very good and if I lived here would have bought several picture hangings for the walls and other goods for the tables, etc.  He had some wonderful pictures of the Kandy Perahera in several color combinations that were awesome.  However, they wouldn’t go with our home décor so I bought two 18” x 18” fish batiks because I couldn’t resist.  He also had greeting cards with photographs of his works attached to the front of the card which he sold for $1.50.  Looking through them we noticed that several of the cards were actually small batiks so we bought several of these which are suitable for framing.

Shopping can always be disheartening…never know if they will have what you want especially since they had it the last time you were there.  With dinner guests coming for Eggplant Moussaka  (Kanthi is vegetarian) I also wanted to make a salad…NO LETTUCE,  NO YOGURT (only sweet yogurt and curd which is more like sour cream).  It cost $4 for a 28 oz can of peaches for a dessert I was hoping to make.  I was getting a little upset but we had to hurry home for lunch.  I didn’t have time to disinfect, cut, cook the eggplant, tomatoes, onions, chick peas and put the moussaka together before we left to teach our afternoon classes.

 Class was alright, Kanthi couldn’t attend because she was taking her house helper to the hospital for cataract surgery the next morning.  Here it is not an outpatient procedure.  The other two instructors from the PE department did not come…I think I wore them out the last class; that left the two students.  We did 3 miles for time and then walked 1 more to cool down while I lectured to them about diets and fats.  I really like these students, I wish they understood English better because I am never sure how much they are really grasping of what I am saying.

 Preparing dinner was not a pleasant experience.  I was tired from the walking class and stepped into a quick shower and then started.  Thank heavens I had the moussaka put together and in the 9×12 pan ready for the oven…it would take at least another hour for baking.  I go to make the dessert and discover that I need that 9×12 pan (it’s the only pan I have that can go into the oven).  I used it for a cookie sheet upside down because I was making peach shortcakes.  Took the moussaka out of the pan and put it into the wok on low heat on the stove, used the 9×12, then when I finished the shortcakes, returned the moussaka to the 9×12.  Didn’t have any cinnamon or cornstarch so just did the best I could. 

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