The Sri Lankan Grandparent Experience
Updated: Feb 6
BOOKING?! screeched the withered old man, head cocked to one side, reminiscent of Nigel the baddie from the cartoon, Rio.
Eventually, our host accepted we had booked and let us in to the living room where his long-suffering wife brought us tea.
It hadn't been easy to find his guesthouse; the directions had been vague at best:
Madly enough, the local samosa man we chanced upon actually knew English Teacher Mr Nigel - I guess that's what rural village life is like...
Nigel was rather deaf which meant every time you asked a question, you got an 'EEHHH?!' squawked back at you. And It was pot luck whether the answer matched the question asked.
Once trapped in the lounge, Nigel regaled us with the life stories of his two daughters and their husbands, showed us the wedding albums and shared the various achievements of all 7 grandchildren.
By 8 o'clock, we were finally allowed into the guest room. Nigel fluttered in and out of the bedroom whilst we tried to unpack:
Do you know how to use the fan?
Did you lock your scooters?
Leave the door key with us when you go out in case you lose it.
Don't get home late - be back by 6pm.
It was like staying at your grandparents' house when they'd taken speed.
We slept undisturbed until 4am when Grandpa Nigel got up to chant Buddhist mantras with the birds.