The below are a few pictures of the Jaffna lagoon, Sri Lanka. Fishermen use these fiberglass boats at night to go fishing in the sea. They go about 5 km from the shore into the Indian Ocean. Some who could afford, use outboard motors on their boats, but many just use oars to row the boats. In fact, I too wanted to go to the sea in one of these boats without an outboard motor engine with an experienced fisherman from the Maniyanthoddam fishing village. He agreed to take me but the mild cold and fever I had during the last week forbade me from enjoying this nightly adventure. But I will definitely do so on my next visit to Jaffna.
Well, this reminds me of a funny episode that happened to me about 20 years ago. An attractive Lebanese female teacher and I were the guests at a private school in Miami, Florida, in the USA in the year 2000.
Two men of our host families took her and me in their big boat to sea in Miami and then to the Atlantic Ocean. In the middle of the ocean, they got into their diving gear and hung their oxygen cylinders on their backs and jumped into the water, saying that they would be back in an hour or two.
I was chatting to my travel partner a lot, mainly about the fragile political situation in Lebanon in those days which I was greatly interested in and the discussion went through well over two hours, when the two men emerged from the sea.
We ended our stay in Miami in two weeks’ time and came back to our respective countries. I sent an email to my partner teacher from Lebanon asking how she was getting on etc. Can you guess what she wrote back? “You, idiot, you had two hours with me all alone on a boat in the middle of the ocean and you didn’t do “anything” to me and now don’t initiate small talks with me.”
Well, don’t be misguided by this random picture of a traditional looking Muslim girl I have used here just to arouse the readers’ curiosity. As you know, Lebanese Muslims are very liberal compared to the rest of them in the Middle Eastern region. The teacher I am talking about here had studied in the USA and was more American than Lebanese.