My favorite place to eat in Colombo is definitely the petty kade on Union street. I go there every day and they still treat me like shit. I read in the New York Times that sushi used to be street food, served raw for those with no time to let it pickle. Wonder if they might some day serve malu paan in some upscale Soho bar for $50. Today I had potato filling rolled up in a cocunut roti. Fucking genius.
I’ve been told (I think seriously) to vary my schedule so I don’t get abducted, but I don’t. Every morning I park, walk out the gate and go to the petty kade. For weeks I’d just order a malu paan. Then, although I can’t pronounce the word, I’d order two eloulu rotis. Then I got bored and mixed it up. There is a fried thing with egg, good but feels fatty. Toasties, with some yellow substance. Tastes like salt anyways, good. Sandwiches, derivative, not so good. One day I got risky and got some noodles in a plastic bag. Turns out it contained noodles, a hard boiled egg, and dhal (in its own bag). Unfathomably good. I inhaled it off my office desk. But nothing beats the aloo roti. Hope they have it tomorrow.
The woman behind the glass is sturdy and tough. She spoons lunu mirice onto roti and takes no notice of me. One time I saw her blackguarding this trishaw driver parked in front of the stall. I was munching discontentedly on a packaged bunice (not so good) when her husband-type came out and punched the guy in the face. Was pretty cool.
Anyways, get her attention and she bags my order in recycled paper. Probably my second favorite thing in Colombo. Often its Sinhala or Tamil writing I can’t read, but sometimes I get a bill of lading from 1996, or someone’s travel expenses from 2003. One time I got a list of management tips which seemed quite reasonable despite their dubious source.
Anyways, I wallk to the elevator quite content with myself. Say hi to the secretary apparently paid to flirt with everyone. Miss the first elevator but I’m in luck, still a paper in the bin. It’s the Daily News, which I read just for comic value. Each day the headline might as well be DON’T PANIC. Today it’s all about foreign investment, a few days after the SecDef told everyone to go fuck themselves. I’m pretty sure a few people died yesterday. They always have a thought for the day as well. It’s always some variation of ‘support the troops’.
This was originally hand written for one of Ann’s writer workshop things