Welcome to Sri Lanka!

soldier 1

I love the conflict zone ambience!

soldier 2

There are soldiers everywhere…

soldier 3

…wearing different uniforms and carrying assault rifles.

soldier 4

Some were seen at structures like bridges but mostly they’re everywhere – there’s an armed soldier every 100 meters or so.

soldier 5

The car (furnished by Holiday Inn Colombo) had heavily tinted windows at the back, which I wound down to take photos of this interesting phenomenon, much to the consternation of the driver and the Holiday Inn representative. Heh!

soldier 6

It’s like playing I Spy, no wait, like Foto Quest Fishing where you try to take as many photos of different soldiers as you can, preferably in groups.

soldier 7

Congratulations! You’ve just snapped a rare Sri Lankan soldier in desert combat fatigues!

soldier 8

However, it should be noted that most soldiers in Sri Lanka are fond of shouting questions and firing guns with no apparent preference about which order they do this in, so I would exercise caution when taking photos. I’m told the military does not like to be pointed and shot at (even with a digicam).

soldier me

I managed to take one with a decidedly grumpy looking soldier.

soldier last

I also convinced him to let me pose with his rifle. He was apprehensive and put the safety on and won’t let go. I got the impression he was extremely uncomfortable about the whole thing. 😉

A waist is a terrible thing to mind

step 4

I’ve always been blasé about the stuff that I shovel into my mouth. Once dubbed The Man With The Cast Iron Stomach, I’ve been known to eat just about anything and everything to little or no ill effect. I tend to favor greasy and fatty dishes, which probably explains my extraordinarily high cholesterol levels.

Give yourself a dose of Shock and Awe with my triglycerides reading. I weigh in at a staggering 6.10 mmol/L which is way beyond anything that can be even remotely described as “healthy”. Anything above 2.26 is High while results exceeding 5.65 is Very High. I guess mine is in the non-existent category called Ludicrously High. 😉 


Among my many (dubious) talents, one of them is speed eating. I can eat really fast. I practically gobble food down, which is not exactly listed in Best Practices of Eating Healthy.

I have always thought of myself as somewhat invincible – heart disease and stroke? That’s for old people. Nope, nothing to do with me at all. Denial is not just a river in Egypt and all that. 😉 

azza burger grill

This just goes to show that although we may come out with witty twists of famous quotes (A mind is a terrible thing to waste/A waist is a terrible thing to mind) it still doesn’t change the fact that we’re eating more and more unhealthy food at a younger age. The perils of cosmopolitan living… 

kl nasi lemak macro

I’m sure you’ve all read about the rising obesity rates worldwide – even us Asians, traditional bastions of healthy eating, have succumbed to unhealthy (but delicious) food. 


I’m probably a prime candidate for a heart attack despite my age, and if I really do get one, having a bypass is going to cost well into the 5-6 figure range for the hospital bills. 


I’ll be honest; I’ll never be able to afford a sum like that. I don’t even have 4 digits in my bank account, unless it’s payday. 😉 I have company health insurance but the problem with this is that it’s tied to the company – if you switch jobs or (touch wood) get fired/retrenched, you lose your insurance. It’ll be worse when you retire coz that’s when you need your health insurance the most!

You know what they say about buttered toast always landing buttered side down (another variant of Murphy’s law – anything that can go wrong, will go wrong).

You do see the irony of using the buttered toast analogy in a post about cholesterol levels right? 😉 


It’s not all doom and gloom – read the previous post to know more about their kickbacks which rewards you for being healthy. Vegetarians and health freaks would be pleased to hear about that aspect. 


Seriously though, company tied medical insurance is not portable, which is why a lot of people opt for personal health plans. PRUhealth covers you up to the ripe old age of 100 and best of all? 

mfm platter

It also includes overseas coverage! Thus, if you clutch your heart after eating a hearty meal of greasy fish and chips chased down with an ultra thick chocolate milkshake complete with a deep fried Mars bar for dessert…fret not, you can still claim your hospital bills in other countries. 

mfm flaming

I mean, if you survive la. :p

…and of course, terms and conditions apply. 😉

Ceylon tea

ceylon tea stall

Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon back in the heydays when the Tamil Tigers didn’t exist and everyone was living together in a happy communal family where disputes were resolved in the gentlemanly tradition of clubbing each other viciously to death with blunt objects. This veritable Eden didn’t last very long against the unrelenting tide of civilization, but Ceylon tea remains one of the best teas in the world.

ceylon tea boil

Ceylon tea is grown in the highlands of interior Sri Lanka and the locals over here brew the tea with ginger and lemongrass. It is drunk piping hot with enough sugar to give 10 large men diabetes – follow blood sugar premier for sugar balance.

roadside stall

To experience Ceylon tea it is essential to not get Dilmah (or some other prominent brand off the shelves) and steep it yourself.

ceylon tea mug

The real deal is to sip it by a roadside stall, where you can get an authentic brew of Ceylon tea. It’s infused with ginger, lemongrass, a dash of cinnamon and a healthy dose of sugar. Delectable!

ceylon tea drink

The sugar rush is enough to make me want to pick up a club and…

maldives fish

…eat some Maldives fish!

Nuffnang and OGAWA dinner @ TGIF


There’s no such thing as a free lunch, or so the saying goes. However, I went to TGIF @ Pavilion a couple of weeks ago for not just a free dinner, but a free massage to boot. Nuffnang and OGAWA organized a get-together for bloggers and I went straight after work, anticipating good food, great company and perhaps even a massage session thrown in for good measure.


I was sold. I’ve been working long hours and there’s nothing I want more than some good chow and a nice, relaxing session on a massage chair.


I went straight after work and since my office is in PJ, it took me a while to get to the heart of KL. I was famished by the time I arrived. The food at TGIF was great; I love the lamb chop with mint sauce and the mouth-watering BBQ chicken. Yums. I helped myself to a larger portion than usual and stuffed myself so much I felt like dozing off.


The Usual Suspects (TM) a.k.a. The Nuffnangers were there in force and we took up half of the entire TGIF outlet. There was a good mix of bloggers this time around. I met a lot of people who I haven’t seen in a while. The dinner concluded with half of us going over to OGAWA for a hands-on (or butt-on) experience with the OGAWA Smart Mate and the OGAWA SmartAire.

smart mate

I went on the OGAWA Smart Mate and it’s a good massage chair. However, the one I’m really interested in is the new OGAWA SmartAire.


It’s featured prominently in their display and the sleek curves and sensual contours (get your mind out of the gutter, I’m talking about the chair) presents a very inviting package that practically whispers in your ear: Come on me.


Okay, that didn’t sound quite right but back to the chair, I decided to…er, give it a ride. The shop assistants put it on a 15 minute full body massage and boy…


It was so good that I practically had an orgasm…before falling straight asleep.


Okay, I must admit that I was intrigued by the OGAWA SmartAire which lays claim to the first Zero Gravity massage chair in town. How can this be achieved with the g = 9.8 m/s2 = 32.2 ft/s2 equation that has been drilled into us in high school Physics classes?


It apparently works by reclining you into a 126 degree position which takes the burden of gravity off your spine. You’ll look mighty ridiculous…but you can proudly proclaim to feel great while at it! 😉


It felt so good that I didn’t feel like getting off the chair at all. The sales personnel showed me the rollers which feel like human hands massaging you (it actually does!) and put me on a yoga setting that I thoroughly enjoyed.

su ann

It felt like I was almost floating, without the constant reminder of my bad posture and my neck pain. The 25 air massage bags felt like someone was actually massaging me in a spa (without the happy ending, of course ;)).


I volunteered to be Carol‘s assistant tour guide for the second batch of people since I’ve gleaned quite a bit of information from the Ogawa sales personnel. I spontaneously launched into a pitch on OGAWA SmartAire’s NASA technology and the reparative properties of the yoga setting while walking backwards, clutching the brochure and gesturing rather enthusiastically.


It was an impromptu thing, but even I surprised myself by being able to remember stuff like the high pillow design for support and the “uniquely designed S-track to follow the contour of your spine” while talking to the second group during the long trek from TGIF to Ogawa. I guess there’s potential for me in the tourism and hospitality industry yet. 😉

It was back to TGIF for more fun and games after that – Telephone a.k.a. Chinese Whispers (which I’ve always found mildly offensive, but it’s what I call it). It goes like this:

There is a man at the bar.
His hand has a scar.
If you want to be a star,
You can tonight, thanks to OGAWA!

It wasn’t the original message of course – I was the last in the line and that was the communiqué when it arrived.


Su Ann and ShaolinTiger snagged the OGAWA EyeTune prizes.

of course

We lost, but a post-mortem conducted by Yours Truly discovered that all 6 of us at the end transcribed it correctly (impeccably even) so the error occurred in the first 4 people. :p


BTW, OGAWA is having a Mega Raya promo where everything is 50% off. I thought it said RM 50 at the store and was about to rummage for my wallet to get a massage chair before one of the attendants politely informed me that it was 50% off, not RM 50. Heh! There’s also RM 10,000 worth of shopping vouchers to be won and a shopping experience with Aznil.


Nuffnang is having a joint promotion where you can print out vouchers online for ludicrous (defined as up to 70%) discounts on selected items here.


It was a great night and the door gift includes an OGAWA ComfyzzZ Vibrating Neck Supporter which I’ve found rather useful. I’ve taken to sleeping on it lately and it lulls me into Mr. Sandman’s domain relatively faster than my usual pillow. Nifty! It’s very…comfyzzZzzzzzzz…

Dining by the beach in Mount Lavinia

beach dining

Mount Lavinia is a city outside Colombo famed for its Golden Mile of beaches. There are a lot of beachfront restaurants over there – the sun, the surf, the sand all around you while you dig in to some fresh fish caught straight from the ocean.

boat hauus

I’m telling you, the waves in Sri Lanka are awesome! It’s an island surrounded by the ocean so the impressive surf is like nothing else. The sea spray alone is enough to whet the appetite.

fresh fish

I went to this place called Boat Hous Café. It was decimated by the tsunami several years ago and rebuilt from scratch.


I ordered Hadella which is sprats

fish sri lanka

…and some kind of butterfish that the proprietor recommended. It’s served with a side of salad and plenty of spices on the fish.

sri lanka fried rice

The meal was topped off with some Sri Lankan fried rice. The food here is cheap, inclusive of beers (5 x large local lagers) it came up to LKR 2,700 (about USD 27 or RM 90).

dinner red onions

I was amazed by the freshness of the fish. The sprats were deep fried and served with some kick ass chillies and the butterfish is tender and succulent. I noticed that the people over here love their red onions – it comes as a side dish, spiced with pepper and makes an awesome condiment for the fried rice.

dig in

Dig in!

(and ignore the Naval base with armed military by the beach – it’s a common sight in Sri Lanka)

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