Sri Lanka’s end of year “social season” is now in high gear. Family from 2 contents are here. Again. It sounds tedious, but I actually find this time to be interesting and insightful. It encapsulates the way we live now into memorable and “telling” moments.
I have been unshackled from my desk at work for annual leave (if the reactor overloads and mushroom clouds its not my fault). I have been assigned to the family transport pool and already bagged 3 late night airport port runs within 72 hours. At least this time I wasn’t driving – just seat warming as “drive crew”.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) there are no weddings lined up. Just the usual round of ex-pat relative meet ups and the annual pilgrimage to Odel (no underwear shopping I hope). I’m hoping to avoid a visit to the House of Odours (House of Fashions) with its parking Nazis. Quite sure I can pull it off.
One of the insights of carting ex-pat relatives about town is that you get unsolicited reports on how things have changed/not changes. Often broken down junction by junction. Most of the time things have not changed much. I do detect a certain nostalgia for the thrill of dodging late night checkpoints. I’m shocked at how easily such things have evaporated into faint memories in my head.
There are three major differences about this year’s “season” for me. The first is the absence of weddings. The second is the fact that our married relatives and friends have reproduced. This creates an added complication of installing infant seats in chariots, stockpiling nappies and sourcing baby formula. Cots with mosquito nets have been set up and air conditioners finely tuned. At family gathering the newborns are passed around and cooed at.
People seems to have wised up to the difficulty of running around to multiple events. As a result social events have been centralised to a handful of events to everyone can meet in one bang. It feels very wholesale but practical.
The third difference of the season is a quite different and serious. It came upon us very suddenly and changed the tone of peoples’ immediate and possibly long term plans. But that’s another post.