The time has come once more – the return to Colombo fills me with dread! Just leaving Flower Book and the dogs and tranquility behind is only the first bummer. The journey back along the landslide-devastated route back is the next, as the frustration and the helplessness generated by whoever it is that is responsible for the gross mismanagement of the road-expansion, is overwhelming. Then, the actual descent into the Hades that is Colombo, with its traffic snarls, security check-points, flooded sections of roads, hoardings, those obnoxious posters promoting the Man and other negative vibes, is the last hurdle. Once getting home, however, there is a certain relief and the chance to ‘acclimatize’. And so the Colombo routine begins once more.

Unpack – the herbs and veggies, fresh from the farm are sorted by The Dancer, bagged and refrigerated. I sort my dirty clothes and other stuff out, get me cuppa and check out the match – feet up and spacing! Not bad for starters. The Dancer has all sorts of information that she hasn’t conveyed on the phone during our short bursts of communication during my absence. Little bits of trivia and also more ‘important’ stuff that usually demands my attention – chores, requirements – to do with domestic matters, personal stuff and other sh – (oops!), stuff too! If I am concentrating on the match and her voice is in the background, as it were, and I fail to respond appropriately, there could be a kind of friction starting up and the familiar complaint of not paying attention – even after being away for so long! And so it goes…

The one thing I do enjoy about Colombo is getting together with the small circle of friends, indulging in our various pleasures, partaking in stimulating conversation, meeting each other at parties or events that turn us on and all the humour and good fun that goes with these interactions. This is something that Flower Book, with all its attractions, doesn’t have (thankfully!), except on the odd occasion when many of these folks come visiting. So the change does have its moments! And then of course there’s work! Have to keep the moola coming in and besides, since I do enjoy what I do, it’s no big deal. It’s just so much nicer working in the hills – so much more conducive to being productive in spite of being so much more ‘laid back’.

The telephone rings – it’s Nahorp. Do we meet up tonight at Mr. Zippy’s? Or do we all make it to the Boulevard to meet with Seenimod and Zaney? Let’s see, I’ll check with The Dancer and get back. I do. We meet at the Boulevard and let’s take it from there. Nahorp is cool. Java hasn’t shown up yet, so maybe the night will be without ‘incident’ – although I do miss his, at times insightful though pungent, commentary.   So it’s back to the ‘other’ routine and although I do miss Flower Book, the doggies and all that it has, a lot, I do make the best of being back.

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