I love wearing sarong. It’s so fresh and so clean clean. In Sri Lanka everybody wears sarong, though the more city types juss wear it around the house. Regardless, I can wear a sarong all weekend without attracting attention – unless I go out at night. Then every bouncer at every club is looking at my feet like I pooped on the floor. I don’t bother with security, I just pretend to know the owner or something and walk in. Mahinda wears a sarong and they can bite me. I’m not talking threadbare house sarongs either, I have some Odel and Barefoot sarongs which are, IMHO, pretty fucking fly. This weekend, however, I kept getting kicked out of Colombo Rowing Club. I heard later that they kicked Manik and Arjuna Ranatunga out for the same offense. Downstairs you can sorta wear sarong, but I’m upstairs eating some rice (with my fingers) and they tell me to leave. Rock back the same evening for a party in full national dress with a Mahinda scarf. National is acceptable I know, I can wear national to work and any establishment has to give you service. Walk upstairs, give them the two handed ayubowan and promptly get kicked out again. Bloody colonial hangover.
I don’t know much about the Colombo Rowing Club. I used to row the 2k and 6k in high-school but it was incredibly painful and I don’t really miss it. I’ve been there for a few mediocre parties that I only remember (generally embarrassing) bits of. Anyways, wake up late on Saturday and I’m freaking starving. Holler at my boy to see where he is. He says he’s at the Rowing Club and to knock up for the buffet, sarong should be OK.
So I go upstairs, get a few gal looks from the men, which I’m used to. And anyways, they can bite me cause I’m fucking fly and the only birds they have are a dumpling and what looks like a Chinese hooker. I’m wearing a tie-dyed sarong, Urban Thongs, and a white tee from House of Fashion. I’m just hungry so my member friend shows me the buffet and I sit down to a bonafide nosh. Basmati, Chicken Kurma, Rs 150. Not bad.
I’m eating with my fingers when some perturbed looking dude comes and asks me who I’m with. I swallow and mentioned my friend. Then this guy – who is not fly at all – says ‘I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you can’t wear sarong in here. Please leave in 5 minutes.’ It’s his club or whatever, but I still think he’s a cunt. ‘Can I finish my meal?’ I ask, cause Sri Lankans are usually hospitable about food. ‘OK, but please leave.’ So whatever, I finish my meal and leave. Somebody’s pulling their Ferarri out of the parking lot. Wearing pants I presume.
Now, as mentioned, I don’t wear pants on the weekend. I don’t care where we’re going, I’m not wearing pants. If I go out I go out in sarong and I don’t take any shit from bouncers. However, given my past experience at Rowing Club I decide to play it safe. Put on a full national dress and borrow a shawl from my girl Wednesday. I look like Mahinda, except skinnier and not a fucking cunt. Figure there’s no way they can kick me out now. I understand that sarongs can be slovenly, but national dress is national dress. It’s accepted in my company’s strict dress code and both of my grandfathers wore it every day of their working lives. It’s national dress, so you have the right to wear it anywhere in this nation.
Apparently, however, the Colombo Rowing Club is still a colony. The party is downstairs where nobody checks, but I heard a friend of mine was upstairs. So I go up to look. Three men in black immediately block my path. My one rule with security guards is to ignore them cause they don’t have guns and they can’t actually do anything. I just walk by, looking for my boy. Machang, the gal looks I get from these pot-bellied bar denizens upstairs. You’d think I’m a proper fucking serf. I’m rocking the full Mahinda, but they’re all up in arms. ‘He can’t be up here my God, go downstairs.’ ‘Harumph harumph harump, we’ll have a talk with [X] about this.’ This being any other night I would have told them to suck my salty Sinhalese balls. Out of respect for the friend who invited me, I just say whatever and go downstairs. Two guys in black follow me all the way to the dance floor.
So, I guess you can’t wear national dress at the Colombo Rowing Club. Interesting, because my grandfathers wore national dress every day, and I respect them more than anybody. Most Presidents (including this one) and national representatives wear National Dress. I guess all these people aren’t good enough for the Rowing Club to break bread with. If they’re going to kick me out while I got food in my mouth I guess they wouldn’t care. I understand club rules, but I do think a club should respect the nation it is in. This is Sri Lanka. The whitewashed guys hanging out in the bar may be club members, but they are also Sri Lankans. I am Sri Lankan, and I can wear national dress anywhere I damn please. Especially if I’m dressed exactly like Mahinda Rajapakse and look fucking hilarious. But whatever. I went downstairs and drank some arrack and ice. I’m still not wearing pants on weekends. It’s a national issue.
This is the real Colombo wastrel. I at least spend my own money.