YAMU’s Guide To Limbo.

So this is limbo. Between the gluttonous excess of Xmas and the outright hedonism of New Year’s Eve are the days nobody knows what to do with. No serious business is going to be conducted in the scanty remainder of this year but awkwardly there are still some days left on the calendar before we officially and drunkenly send 2012 into the past.

These days need to be filled and many Colombars not clever enough to have wangled leave and organized trips to the beach are even obliged to make appearances at work. Though, today for example, no one is going to do much other than moan about how much they ate the day before and watch the cock run down.

Seriously. If you aren’t lying on a beach somewhere this is a rather troubling time of year.

To help see the good people of the capital through this annual limbo YAMU has prepared a short list of suggestions. Still we don’t claim to have found a solution to the problem of the year’s extra days. 365 days is probably just 5 too many….

1. Sit at home and digest the X-Mas excess while making solid plans for the New Year. Ones that don’t involve last minute ticket scrambles, drunk-driving, room booking fiascos and wardrobe malfunctions.

2. Sort through your X-mas gifts. This is important. You definitely got things that didn’t fit and stuff you really didn’t want. make three piles- to be kept, to be swapped at the shop, to be craftily re-wrapped and re-gifted to unsuspecting friends/relatives next year. While you’re busy exchanging that blouse that didn’t fit for a pregnancy dress that does you may also encounter some post xmas sales- think ahead, buy bargain gifts for next year.

3. Throw a left over party. Gather your Xmas leftovers, the half-finished bottles of booze, the scrapings from the turkey carcass, and vaguely rehash; Turkey fried rice, X-mas ice cream(this is when you bash bits of Xmas cake into some Cargills Magic,) Ceylon mulled wine(arrack, local brandy, the dregs of a dozen bottles of gato negro heated with a ton of sugar, and spices to cover the taste). Serve to close friends. This is not the sort of party you throw to impress the boss/ in-laws, new neighbors. Works particularly well if you join forces with a friend blessed with an equal amount of leftovers – more leftovers, more party.

4. Blow things up. This is my personal favourite. Those blessed agents of chaos and general entertainment the rathinya karayo have turned up with things that go crack, boom, bang and you *%*W$*!, you maimed my cat. There’s nothing like flinging a few battas over parapet walls to put some life into your (and someone else’s) day. Some well aimed rockets are insta-fun. And if you’re er damp blanket inclined I suppose you can just stand around with sparklers. Good wholesome mildly dangerous fun at Rs 10 or so a cracker, battas are around Rs 30.

5. Swim. I’d normally say go to the beach, December and January are really the only two months that the sea around Colombo is calm and swimmable but given the apocalyptic weather you’ll have to content yourself with the city’s selection of pools. Try, try desperately to work off some of the weight you’ve just gained. If your New Year’s party is going to be on a beach, try even harder.

6. Cruise up the fabulous Pamunugama road to Negombo for the Colombo area’s best road trip. The lagoon on one side, the sea on the other and a string of Latin-American- style churches in between. This is the country’s catholic hinterland- the pork curry is good, the palm wine is easy and the fireworks (made in the nearby Kimbulapitiya) are many. While most Colombars head down south the slightly up-north feels more festive than anywhere else in the country. And it’s really a beautiful drive.

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