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Monday, December 26, 2011

At 39,000 Feet

At 39,000 feet and somewhere over South Pacific that is. Almost 3 in the morning, Sydney time. 

Did I tell you I hate flying? Well I fucken hate it even more now. I'm at the window seat and in addition the aisle is vacant too. Yet after trying every imaginable position - which included normal seating position, curled up in two seats head to the window side and the other way around, facing seat back, the other way, up, etc - now I'm back to the original and sleepless. 

Luckily I have the iPod - ever the faithful companion - with me. I have a feeling it knows me so well somehow. I kid you not, for about an hour it's continually playing my most favorite tracks even though it's set to random mode. Yes, most of the songs you put in your iPod are favorites, but it's been playing undoubtedly the best of the lot. Such a comforting feeling at this otherwise miserable moment. If this iPod was a girl I would marry her right now. 

Alright then, there's nothing else to whine about.  I've still got four and a bit hours to go and I'm debating whether I should brush my teeth on board or not. I must say I'm leaning towards 'later'. Don't judge me, I'm only human! Anyway once I land I shall do that and also find a WiFi and hit the post button. 

On other news, yesterday (or today depending on where you are) was (is) my mom's birthday which she shares with Jesus. Happy Birthday mom! 

Update : So I'm hitting the post button.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sydney here I come!

I most definitely am not talking about a girl named Sydney and going to her. I will actually be going to Sydney, the Aussie city tomorrow though it'll be the Boxing Day when I actually arrive there. Which means twenty or so hours of on-the-road which isn't exactly the correct term but you know what I mean. Though I love travelling flying is the most disliked part of it. Even though it's unavoidable. I really do wish we had Harry Potter style disapparate and apparate technology. However it's a small price to pay compared to the awesomeness of travelling, so no complaints really. Just bitching.

I've not made very many specific plans though. Except the Australia vs India Sydney Test on 3rd January. Someone I know rolled her eyes complete 360 degrees hearing that I'll be going to a cricket match and sit there for 8 hours on my vacation. But she's such a cricket tragic what else can you expect? Anyway, this is one golden opportunity for me to see the legends of the game like Ponting, Sachin, Dravid and VVS probably for the last time. Not gonna miss it. I do wish Ponting would score a 100 there. Would be an added bonus if Sachin gets out in the nineties again.

Other than that I'm planning on going whale watching though not yet sure when and where. Probably because I'm staying at my sister's place (not my own, but probably better than my own if I had one) so guess I'm trusting her and her hubby to take me around. The only other fixed item in the list is the fireworks on new year's eve at Sydney Harbor. In between I guess I'll go here and there seeing stuff; probably Opera House, Harbor, some Kangaroos (hopefully eat one too) and, er, I don't know, I'll tell you when I know. I don't think I would be doing a post-a-day travel diary this time like I did for the Beijing tour, but hopefully I would get to write something of my accounts there. I don't think it would be as much adventurous as Beijing but you never know. Fingers crossed!

Okay then, later peeps!


I don't often post YouTube vids, but this I just had to share. She's such an inspirational and brave (you got to be brave to do what she did) woman. Loved every bit of this.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Murali the Thief

In yet another one of his boring and meaningless articles, our articulate-with-the-bat, not-so-with-the-words ex-captain Mahela has insisted the need to play our own brand of cricket in order to achieve success in South Africa. If I got one rupee for every time I hear our cricketers talk about this so called our own brand of cricket I would be filthy rich. Only I don't and so I'm not. The point is none of them seem to understand that this phrase has become such a cliche now.

Everybody seems to talk about it but nobody seems able to do it. It's like nobody knows where to find it anymore. The only possible explanation for this is somebody stole it. Our guys were playing this our own brand of cricket so happily, world was all rosy and sweet, and then all of a sudden, BOOM! Gone. Vanished. Now they have a problem. They are nothing without it. Success is only a distant dream. But of course they can't reveal it's gone; how can you come out and say this valued treasure is gone just like that? It would be like the king going out to the public and saying "I'm sorry guys, I seem to have lost the crown." Or Pamela Anderson announcing she seems to have lost her fake boobs last night. Not gonna happen.

What would the king/Pamela do in this dire situation? He/she would probably make a fake crown/ fake fake boobs for the time being, use it/them pretending everything's fine while fanatically search for the real thing(s). This pretty much is what our poor cricketers are doing right now. They are writing an unnecessarily large amount of articles explaining the need to play our own brand of cricket while on the lookout for the real thing. Hoping, praying, they would come across it. And then they can start playing the real our own brand of cricket and attribute the current poor patch to a glitch in the matrix. Or something like that. Bottom line is somebody stole it and the poor guys are desperate now.

So I decided to get to the bottom of this shit and find out what happened.

First thing to do, re-trace the steps. Find out what went wrong, when and where. Obviously the right thing to do would be to go back to the last time we were playing this our own brand of cricket. Last significant (actually, any kind of) Test success; July 2010, against India. Last significant ODI success; reaching the World Cup final, April 2011. However those two events are some 8 months apart. While we looked like the desperate king/Pamela in Tests since July 2010 we still seemed okay in ODIs till April 2011. The only logical conclusion; we had not one but two our own brands of cricket one for each format. We lost the Test version back in July 2010, the ODI version April 2011. Now what is the other significant thing that happened in relation to our cricket on both these occasion? Of course. One off spinner called it quits in Test in 2010, and ODIs in 2011. It all fits, doesn't it? Everybody doesn't have access to king's crown/Pamela's boobs though one could argue that the latter is subject to dispute. However, chances are that only someone who's close enough can steal them. It's the same with our own brand of cricket. It's got to be somebody who had pretty good access to it. And who has better access to it than the very players who play the game with it? Dressing room is where they probably keep the our own brand of cricket and after the last time this player has access to it the our own brand of cricket vanishes. Same happens April 2011; he quits cricket, we lose our own brand of cricket. Coincidence? I think not.

I always thought that fellow was a bit dodgy but this proves it beyond doubt. Yes, yes, he pretty much raised that our own brand of cricket baby by himself, but who is he to think that he owns it? Give it back, Murali, they need it!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Business in Paradise

There's an inherent trust issue with business in Sri Lanka. To be more precise with the relationship between seller and buyer. This in turn leads to huge frustration and the want to kill each other in whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Perhaps it is the result of colonialism; back then the Brits were the businessmen and Sri Lankans were the customers and they more often than not fucked the customers. Sometimes literally but mostly figuratively. Or maybe it was the presence of the the lefties who continually influenced most of the governments after Independence. Or else it's just the way we Sri Lankans are. I'm not really sure why. But whichever the reason is, the general public has an unfavorable attitude towards business. Often business is considered as unethical or immoral. If not at least not as good as the government. Business is perceived as some sort of evil entity who's out there to get you. That it's only purpose of existence is to trick you and get every cent out of your pocket. Hardly is a business seen as something that's out there to provide you some good or service and get money for it. General conscience is they will only give you some cheap stuff and get a shitload of money out of you. It always is evil. 

On the other hand, not many businessmen, ranging from street vendors to multinational companies, are doing things to improve this either. Customer is often treated as a piece of shit. They are seen as cheap people who always rant about high prices, irresponsible and are looking to use every small opportunity available to make it so that the companies will lose something. You need to scream to get the attention of the Kadey Mudalali. Sri Lankan Airlines think that customers are at their mercy and that they can do whatever they please whenever they please. Dialog seems to think So what if we lose one customer? There are so many more! Only the other day I found out that they allocate phone numbers which were not in use for a few years to new customers even without letting the previous owners know about it. Taking your customers for granted much?

Simply neither party trusts the other. That is exactly what you don't want to happen in a healthy relationship. Compare this to that of a country like Japan. Well probably it is a little unfair comparing it to Japan, for Japan is one of the oddest countries in the world anyway. Nowhere else in the world is this relationship stronger than in Japan. But the truth of the matter is that is why they are so good at business. Companies genuinely try to offer customers something worth their every penny, and in turn the customers are ready to trust the companies to do their job well. Services are even better than goods if that's possible. I was at the dentist a few days back and it was close to 8 p.m. when we were finished. She prescribed me some meds and took the trouble to call the nearby pharmacy to ask them to not close it until I go there. That's even without me asking her to do so. Wonderful things is that it's not a surprise but the norm. Trains arrive in time, and in rare cases they don't people are ready to accept it for it is truly rare. If you go to Starbucks to buy a coffee but is sold out, cutie at the counter will apologize to you with a face similar to what she would use if she accidentally spilled the only remaining bottle of medicine in the world that would cure my terminal wife who's lying in her deathbed.

Really, if you want to be a customer, you want to be a customer in Japan. If not for anything else, just to see that face.