Sometimes I have to make tea. I’ve always thought of tea as a commodity. Making it is confusing and vaguely insulting, like making electricity. I also suck at making tea. Initially this was because by sucking I didn’t have to do it. Now I’ve realized that I actually don’t have the skill. There’s no room for creativity. At first I tried mixing the tea and milk powder and sugar while the water boiled. That was terrible. Now I just try to make the tea regularly, which is dull. But I digress. The main point is the sugar.
In Sri Lanka the whole house/jungle thing is an illusion. Leave the illusion untended for two days and the creatures will take over. They’re always there at the edges anyways. The fat geckos that scurry when you turn on the light. The cats that get in if the door is open. The street dogs that chase you down the street like ‘this is my hood’. The most pervasive creature, however, is the ant.
I’m not talking about the red ants or the big black ants outside. Those I respect. I’m talking about the Gandha Coombi. Literally, stinky ants. If you squish them they leave a strange, largely unpleasant smell. When they get in your food this smell becomes a bad taste. These are the little ants that make trails across the kitchen. They quickly swarm any food that’s left out. And, given a millimeter of opening, they will ruin the sugar.
When the ants first got into the sugar I was like ‘shit, my bad’. But it’s been like three times now. It’s like the ants gods require an orgy and then a ritual sacrifice down the drain. I’m tired of it. At first I tried to keep the sugar in the fridge but that gets old really fast. I just screw it on tight and put it in the cupboard. Then, eventually, I screw it on a bit less tight. Then the fucking ants get in and I have to throw the whole thing out.
What’s worse is that I think they’ve gotten in my frosted flakes. In the morning I’m trying to eat my cereal and I get occasional tastes of stinky bad. These aren’t even nutritional ants. They just taste bad. Fucking ants. Why do you always win.