A little book by the name of "Twilight"

I'm sure by now you've heard of the phenomenon that is Twilight. You are probably more familiar with the film than the book -- chances are, you've seen the film but haven't read the book.

Since I'm a high school English teacher, I was bound to hear about the book sooner or later. I first saw it in a sophomore remedial reading class last school year. One of my female students kept lugging around this big fat black book everywhere she went. I remember repeatedly having to ask her to put it away during class-time. I was curious as to what a remedial reading student was doing reading such a lengthy book, so I asked her about it.

"It's about vampires," she replied. "You probably won't like it."

Little did she know her teacher was a secret Anne Rice freak. I've read all of Rice's vampire novels. (My personal favorite is Queen of the Damned. I refuse to see the film because I don't want to sully my mental image of that book.) I have always been intrigued by the mythology surrounding vampires. How they exist in seemingly every culture. Their historical significance. Their impact on literature, primarily Gothic Lit.

So yeah, I thought to myself in that moment, I probably would like it. I resolved to check it out.

It wasn't until months later, while I was hunting in Barnes & Noble for some good books to take with me on the long flight to Tokyo last March (trip of a lifetime!), that I encountered Twilight for the second time. It filled an entire table in the center of the store, books upon books, a whole tower of Twilight . Must be good, I thought.

Well, Twilight traveled with me all the way to and from Tokyo, Japan. I will be honest -- I didn't so much as crack open the front cover the whole trip.

It wasn't until at least a month after I'd returned from my trip that I first picked up the book. It was on a night that I had insomnia. The book caught my eye. So I started reading, thinking it would help lull me to sleep.

I stayed up the entire night, feverishly reading it all the way through.

Flash forward almost an entire year. I've read all four books in the series. I discuss the merits of the book with my students (female and male!). And oh yeah, in case you didn't know, I run another blog, one entirely devoted to Twilight. It's called The Danger Magnet after the main character, Bella's dangerous attraction to perilous situations. I started it just as a way to work out my questions and thoughts on the book and it became what it is today: a time-sucking monster that drains me of all productivity. ;-) (Don't tell my boyf -- or my boss, for that matter!)

(You can read my full book review of Twilight on my Examiner page.)


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Lolcat of the Week

Reader, I laughed so hard at this, I think I broke a rib. These Lolcats just keep getting better and better...

Meet my cat, Tigger.

This is my cat, Tigger. He likes to "hide" when I'm changing my bed sheets.

He also likes taking naps, especially on top of the boyf.

What he doesn't like is any form of collar. Not even this pretty green bow that perfectly matches his eyes. It lasted about 30 seconds around his neck before he kicked it to the floor. It's a miracle I was even able to take this picture. Tigger = rebel.

What Tigger likes best is cuddling. This is an assortment of stuffed animals I've had for years. I threw them on the bed and the next thing I knew, Tigger jumped on the bed and nestled himself among them. Tigger = cuddle machine.

I love my cat and can't imagine my life without him. For all those who say cats are not affectionate, I strongly disagree. I raised Tigger from birth and was always very affectionate with him, resulting in him being a very friendly cat. I can honestly say I like all sorts of animals (except for spiders!), but my favorite animal will always be the cat. I think they are such beautiful, mysterious creatures. Plus they're great fun. I can watch Tigger perform his zany antics all day long.

My Favorite Poem(s)

So my good bloggy friend T.L.C. asked me what my favorite poem was the other day. And that got me thinking.

One of them you've seen here on my blog before: "somewhere I have never travelled, gladly beyond." That's by one of my favorite-ever poets, e.e. cummings.

But I couldn't stop at just one! I have another favorite poem. It's by Pablo Neruda and it's called "Tonight I can write the saddest lines."

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example,'The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before.
Her voide. Her bright body. Her inifinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my sould is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

Le sigh. Basically the more lovelorn and melancholy the poem, the more my heart swells. Violins have a similar effect on me. If you can read in Spanish, I highly recommend reading it in its original form.

Sixpence None the Richer created a song using the lines of the poem in Spanish as the lyrics. I personally love it:

So what are your favorite poems? Let me know in a comment! :)

An Apology and a Poem

I am so sorry I have not written much lately on this here blog. Blame my students. Well, actually, blame me for giving so many assignments!

You see, this 9-week grading period ends tomorrow and grades have to be in by Friday morning at 10:00 AM. I spent the last two weeks previous to this one studying for my ABCTE exams and so I am two weeks behind in grading.

Woe is me.

But I'm the masochist that assigns so many grades. Teachers are required to have a minimum of 18 grades per grading period. I have, um, about 40 per class. No lie.

So pretty much: WOE.

Despite all this, I still took the time to visit my little blog and leave my loyal readers this note. Oh, and I wrote a poem (yah, I know, I should be grading, but when the Muse pays a visit, you can't exactly kick her out! :p). I have no idea where this poem came from as I am very happy with my boyf, thankyouverymuch.

Thoughts & comments greatly appreciated.


I dreamt of water

The night you left, I dreamt of water

Rippling, undulating sheets of blue

The same exact color of your eyes.

The sun glancing on it like an afterthought.

I carried the memory of you

Into my unconscious state:

The sugar-sweet cadence of your voice.

The bitter taste of your name on my tongue.

What happens when the whole of love suddenly disappears?

Is there anything left in its absence?

What happens when time ceases to matter?

Do the seconds fall away to oblivion?

Maybe I am like the after-image burned black onto a white wall

After the calculated obliteration of an atom bomb.

Maybe you are the forgotten ocean residing

In the barren recesses of my dessicated heart.

Lolcat of the Week

funny pictures of cats with captionsAlign Center

THE QUIZ (my answers)

1. I am deathly afraid of spiders. TRUE!
Exhibit A: Read my "Itsy, Bitsy Phobia" post.

2. I am allergic to orange juice. TRUE!
Sadly, if I eat too many oranges or drink too much orange juice, I get ulcers in my mouth. Not fun. And I love orange juice! :(


3. I detest chocolate in all varieties. FALSE!
HAHAHAHAHAHA. Um, so false it's ... no it's still funny, actually.


4. I've reread Twilight more than five times. TRUE!
(Hangs head.)


5. One of my favorite books is The Time Traveler's Wife. TRUE!
I love this book so much. Yes, more than Twilight. If pressed, I must admit the truth. And I really, really hope they stop delaying the film already.


6. I love rap and country music. FALSE!
Sorry, Charlie, but this grrrl's all about the rock n' roll. :-D


7. I can speak English, Spanish, and French. FALSE!

I can speak English (duh) and Spanish, but not French.
Well, pseudo-French, yes, but not for real. ;)


8. I've never been to Europe. FALSE!
I worked for Iberia Airlines and got to travel to Spain and France a few years back. Dying to go back! Especially to Barcelona and Paris... Le sigh.
(There's some of that pseudo-French in action.)


9. Eighties movies are my passion. TRUE!

They don't make 'em like they used to... I still get chills hearing this song.

10. I crush on boys with British accents. TRUE!
The one who taught me to love British accents? Ewan Macgregor. Love that man. What's that you say? He's Scottish, not technically British? Whatev, I'm watching "Moulin Rouge" again, so don't interrupt me...


11. I have two dogs. FALSE!
I have two cats. They are the prettiest, sweetest cats in the cativerse. Yes, even "Gata Fea."


12. My boyfriend was born in Panama.
I heart Panama! (Especially Panamanian boys. :p)

Love Panama Pictures, Images and Photos

13. I can roller-skate like nobody's business. TRUE!
Haha take that all you suckas who put FALSE.


14. I can't dance. TRUE!
Woefully, horribly true. I am expecting them to revoke my Latina card any day now. And um, you hear that, Edward? I can't dance. So why aren't you making me?!


15. I am a morning person. FALSE!
I am a super, duper, hyper night person. Which makes my being a teacher all the more hilarious. Typical wake-up time during the school year: 6 AM
Typical wake-up time during the summer: 12 PM



I have no stinking clue who won?! I don't think anyone got all fifteen right (sniff, sniff), but I'm going to go back and review the answers. I'm thinking about rewarding the one who got the closest, so stay tuned. :) Thanks for playing and reading!

So apparently I'm "Distinguished."


This week I took the two exams I needed in order to complete my teaching certification with ABCTE: the Professional Teaching Knowledge Exam and English Language Arts (6-12) Exam. I found out about this certification program by complete accident -- my temporary teaching certificate expires on June 30th, and after taking the Florida teaching certification exams and thinking that was all I needed to be on track, I received a quite unwelcome surprise when my oh-so-wonderful state notified me I needed to take six education courses to complete my certification.


Yeah, that was pretty much my reaction. Plus a couple of expletives that are not worth repeating here on my family-friendly blog. So I fretted and fumed and was all set to murder myself via six classes in one semester at FIU while teaching full-time. (FYI: the tuition would've cost me over $5,000.00, not to mention the cost of my sanity and time.) I figured, this is what I have to do. It sucks, but I love teaching, so I will do it.

I forget how I found out about ABCTE. Possibly during my mad scramble online to research the different routes to certification. I registered to take my six classes of EPIC FAIL at the beginning of December. On December 18th, I found out about the program. How you had to pay $800.00 upfront and then just pass two exams in order to complete the program. No classes. No other work. Just pay the money and take the exams. That same day I dropped the six classes of EPIC FAIL at FIU and signed up with ABCTE.

Now the exams were the same ones I took previously, except that they were ABCTE's version and supposedly harder than Florida's exams. And yes, I did have to shell out $800.00, but I figured that was a deal compared to the $5,000+ I would've paid at FIU. So I was thrilled, yes. I couldn't believe there was no catch.

The catch was this -- ABCTE's exams are much harder than Florida's certification exams. I discovered this after taking some practice tests online. This made me order their CD-ROM Practice Tests, which I used to help me study in the last two weeks leading up to my first exam. Thank God I bought those CD-ROMs... I truly believe they helped me pass the tests. :-D

So I took the Education exam on Monday and scored a 295. You need a 270 to pass. I would've been happy with a flipping 270, but was pleased with the 295. The score sheet for the Education exam said I was "Proficient" and that was enough for me. Especially since I kept getting a 267 on the practice tests on the CD-ROM. :-0

On Wednesday I took my remaning test, English. You also need a 270 to pass on that one. I got a 354. :-) The score sheet said I was "Distinguished." This elicited a hearty chuckle from me.

So Reader, I am both Proficient and Distinguished. Does this mean I can pass GO and collect my $200.00? Not yet. I don't receive confirmation of my having passed either exam until my essays for both are scored. You need a 4 to pass. I'm really, really hoping I passed. I'm cautiously optimistic for now. ABTCE told me it usually takes a month for them to grade the essays...

It's going to be a long month!

At least I can use that time to start work on my next quest, THE THESIS.


By the by, if you haven't taken my Bloggiversary Quiz yet, what are you waiting for?! The deadline is tomorrow. I will post the results then. :)

Happy Bloggiversary to Me! :-D

A year ago today, I wrote my first post on this blog!

In honor of my bloggiversary, I would like you to take a quiz. Yes, that's right, "quiz." I am a teacher and quizzes are what I do. Plus it's my bloggiversary so you must do as I say. :p

Here are the instructions:
  • Read the following statements about me and answer "True" for each true statement and "False" for each false statement.
  • Answers must be written in a comment box (duh). I want all my readers to comment, especially if you're one of my lurkers who's never commented before! (C'mon, I have that traffic feed thingamabob in my right sidebar, so I know you're visiting!)
  • Feel free to post a quiz on your site, too, so your readers (like me!) can see how well we know you!
  • The first commenter to correctly identify all 15 statements will win a prize!

1. I am deathly afraid of spiders.
2. I am allergic to orange juice.
3. I detest chocolate in all varieties.
4. I've reread Twilight more than five times.
5. One of my favorite books is The Time Traveler's Wife.
6. I love rap and country music.
7. I can speak English, Spanish, and French.
8. I've never been to Europe.
9. Eighties movies are my passion.
10. I crush on boys with British accents.
11. I have two dogs.
12. My boyfriend was born in Panama.
13. I can roller-skate like nobody's business.
14. I can't dance.
15. I am a morning person.

Good luck to the participants! Remember, the first commenter to get all 15 right wins a prize. :-)

ETA: Eeep! I totally forgot to credit Stace for her idea on the quiz thing. You see, she just celebrated her second bloggiversary and had wanted to do something similar to celebrate. So the idea of the quiz is completely hers! Go show Stace some love. :-D

ETA 2: I will announce the winner(s?) on Friday.... Keep those answers coming!

Luck of the Irish

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

In honor of this day, I will write all in green font! :-D

Yesterday I took my Professional Educator's Certification Exam and tomorrow, Wednesday, I will be taking the English Educator's Certification Exam. You need a 270 to pass and I got a 295 on the Professional Educator's Exam, which hopefully means I passed, but I need to wait and see the score I got for the essay... I feel like I passed, but I don't want to get my hopes up just in case!!!

So hopefully tomorrow I will have the luck of the Irish with me as I take my remaining exam. I have all of this afternoon and evening to study. Send me good thoughts around 1:30 PM EST tomorrow -- I'll need it!

P.S.) Why is it called the Luck of the Irish? Is it just because of leprechauns and shamrocks? Because I don't think it's entirely fair that the Irish have sole possession of all luck.... ;-)

LOLcat (walrus) of the Week

This week's LOLcat is not, um, exactly a cat. It's a walrus. But I needed to post this for the lawls. I laughed mightily when I first saw this, so I decided to share it with you. It's a classic!

On Hugging

I love reading the advice page in Elle, "Ask E. Jean." I was thumbing through this month's issue when the following question to E. Jean caught my eye:
Dear E. Jean:

In an all-female get-together, is it appropriate to hug only the ones you feel closest to and say 'hello' to the others? Or should I hug them all so nobody feels rejected? This may seem like a stupid question, but I'm not American and feel insecure sometimes in social or business meetings.
-Faux Paulette

I completely understand where Faux Paulette is coming from. Although I'm technically American since I was born and raised in Miami, FL, my background is Cuban, and as a Latina I'm around people that hug and kiss a lot.

You would think I'd be used to all this hugging and kissing, but I'm not. In fact, I always feel awkward hugging people, male or female. I feel awkward even if they're my friends. (Unless it's my boyf. He is the best hugger. He gives me these bone-crushing hugs that turn my limbs to jelly. It's awesome.)

What's weird is that I also don't mind getting hugs from my female students, but I don't like receiving them from the male students, since I teach high school, so I try to avoid that! But it's hugging women and men who are my peers that makes me feel awkward for some reason. Why do I feel this way? Am I weird for feeling this way?!

Let's turn to E. Jean's response to Faux Paulette to see if it's any help:

Miss Faux, my flower-box:

I personally like to walk into a room, throw my arms around any woman who looks better than I, and ruffle her hair. On the other hand, if I'm already in the room and a female friend I know enters, I screech, hurl my glass of champagne into the fireplace, and embrace her with both arms, and sometimes one leg, depending on the height of my heels.

These are my only two rules. For you, however, it is less complicated: Hug it out with everyone you feel like hugging (except your boss), and shake hands affectionately with those you don't.
I love the "ruffle her hair" bit, hee. Well, that does make me feel a bit better. I can always "shake hands affectionately!" It helped me realize that it's OK not to be innately affectionate and that others won't necessarily think I'm rude if I don't screech, hurl my glass across the room, and embrace them with both arms and legs. ;-)

of face wash & porcelain dolls

I've always taken my skin for granted. I'm fair-skinned. Wait, scratch that -- I'm nearly albino, with dark hair, eyes, and brows, so my skin really stands out. People have told me I look like "a porcelain doll," which makes me blush (which is not a good thing when you're Winona-Ryder-pale). Thankfully, I've never had any issues with my skin, other than the occasional blush-fit.

Till now.

Out of nowhere, I've broken out all over my my left cheek and on my chin. The boyf thinks it's because I have a tendency to rest my hand on my left cheek and that germs are contaminating my face, but I'm a madwoman with the hand sanitizer, so I refuse to believe that's what is causing it. I think it's a combination of sleep deprivation and/or stress.

It is a sad thing, Reader, to go from being called "a porcelain doll" to having skin that now looks like this:

Hello, moon. Please tell my face to stop imitating you. Kthxbai

I'm exaggerating only slightly! Le sigh. So I bought a few face cleansers to try and combat this problem. Clean & Clear = Nothing doing. Neutrogena = Made my skin dry and scaly, but didn't make the zits disappear. St. Ives = Made it worse!!!!

This story does have a happy ending, though. My mom got tired of me buying all this "junk" that wasn't doing anything to help the situation, so one day she told me, "Why don't you just use Noxzema?" And memories of high school suddenly came rushing back to me. I used that face wash religiously all through high school, when my skin was at its clearest. In fact, that's when I got the most compliments for my complexion. The big blue bottle was such a mainstay in my past that I can't believe I ever stopped using it. I don't even remember why...

Well, I bought it a little less than a week ago and have been using it since, and already I'm seeing a massive difference. I love that the bottle looks virtually the same today as it did all those years back, when I was just a girl in my teens trying to take care of her skin. Noxzema, you rock my socks. I'll never stray from you again. Promise.

Cue: chorus of angels

LOLcat Picture of the Week

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Doesn't this picture remind you of the game "Clue"? And the movie? I used to love playing the game when I was little. Ah, good times...

No Reservations: Vietnam

Every time Anthony Bourdain has gone to Vietnam, he's encountered the same problem: he doesn't want to leave. He has come to love Vietnam with the passion and fervor of a first love, and no matter where his trips take him he finds himself pulled back to this country.

Tomorrow night, Bourdain journeys again to Vietnam and rediscovers old haunts. Here's what Ingrid had to say about the episode:
The next episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations is quite different from any this season.

There is no food destination in the world like Vietnam. The country is a clash of cultures mixed with a hectic urban pace- where people are serious about eating. It is never a question of where to go eat when in Vietnam, but a question of what you will miss. Tony wanders the streets of Saigon, walking past food stands, sidewalk cafes and hawkers, enjoying sizzling seafood and vegetable crepes, fresh beer, and garlic sautéed seafood.

He also reunites with the current owner of Les Halles, Philippe Lajaunie, for some iconic food that blends French and Vietnamese cuisine, and for a stroll around a local fish market: a loud, smelly, bustling market run mainly by women. They also befriend a water taxi driver who invites them for a true family meal back at his home.

Could Tony handle living in Vietnam for a year to write the great Vietnamese novel?
This is the last episode of the season and we won't be getting new Bourdain until AUGUST (woe), so you bet I'm watching tomorrow night.The new episode airs Monday, March 9 at 10pm EST on the Travel Channel.

Bourdain posted about his trip to Vietnam on his blog, which you can read here. Below is an excerpt from that post:
It's no mystery to anyone who knows me, or has ever heard me speak publicly, or ever read my books that I'm utterly besotted with Viet Nam. And as I may also have mentioned, I plan to spend a year there sooner or later. This show coming up is a sentimental return to Saigon -- where I first touched ground in-country back in 2000, a settling up of business with a much loved, departed friend, a reunion with Philippe Lajaunie, my former boss at Les Halles and my sidekick on those first heady days of making television for "A Cook's Tour." It's also a trip to the historic village of Hoi An and surrounding countryside for purposes of acquainting myself with the area -- the housing market in particular. Can I live there? Will my family be happy? (My little girl-by then age three -- or three and a half -- most importantly.) Will she like the new neighborhood? That's what the show's about. Another episode in my continuing love affair with Viet Nam.
Everything I've seen about the country and heard about from Bourdain's show and his books leads me to believe I would love it just as much as he does. And you know my obsession with Taro Boba... ;-D

I hope you've enjoyed my posts on Anthony Bourdain and that you will check out tomorrow night's episode if you haven't yet had a chance to watch the show. Here is a sneak peek of tomorrow's show to whet your appetite:

These are a few of my (current) favorite things...

Tokyo Police Club
So this is my new favorite band. They are from Canada. I'd heard of them before, but for some reason I was always dismissive of their music without my even having heard them. Stupid, I know. Then on Monday night, the boyf is showing me the website for this movie coming out soon called "TOKYO!" and the trailer has this amazing song ... by Tokyo Police Club ...

Yeah, let's just say I'm not so dismissive now. :-p

This is the song that was playing:

Bubble Tea
Oh my stars, I love this drink so much. What is this strange drink with the abnormally large straw and bizarre "bubbles" at the bottom of the cup? Why, it's Bubble Tea. I first heard of it on "No Reservations." Bourdain was visiting Vietnam and he kept singing the drink's praises. So when I discovered this little Vietnamese restaurant near the boyf's house called The Green Papaya, and noticed they sold Bubble Tea there, I just had to try. My favorite flavor is called Taro Boba. It tastes just like a Rice Krispie treat, only liquid, and the "bubbles" are so much fun to slurp! Try it, you won't be disappointed, and Vietnamese food is yummy, too.

Dragon Quest V
It's no secret that I'm a big kid -- I play video games and my idea of a vacation is a trip to Disney World. I even own a DS Lite. It is my pride and joy (next to my Crackberry). Maybe it's a good thing that I'm a teacher -- it helps me stay young at heart. :p So the game I'm currently playing, Dragon Quest V, is my new favorite game. I've played other Dragon Quest games before, but this one takes the cake. It's got the perfect blend of action and story, and the translation is pretty good, IMHO. If you're a gamer and a fan of the DS, check this game out.

"Slumdog Millionaire" AKA "Q & A"
If you haven't yet seen this film, you don't know what you're missing. It deserves every single award it has won. I saw the movie on a day that I was feeling very low for personal reasons, and I left the theater practically walking on air. When I learned that the film was based on a book called Q & A by Vikas Swarup, I was curious to know more. Curiosity led me to buy the book. I'm currently knee-deep in it and loving it. Mind you, it's soooo different from the film but still awesomely awesome. If you haven't yet seen the film, I recommend reading it first. You can click on the pic to your left to read a portion of the novel on Amazon.

Oh Target, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways... The boyf and I enjoy going there and just browsing, not something I'm fond of doing. Yes, I am a girl and enjoy shopping like every other girl does, but I detest spending long hours in any store -- unless it is Target. I love discovering new brands there, new items. One item I recently scored was this eye shadow palette from Pixi, it's called the "Lumi Lux Eye Palette," and it's got the most gorgeously gorgeous colors. I love how the shadows are so rich, plus they virtually glide onto your eyelid. Their shadows are also great in that they have sticking power and don't fade away easily, and I love-love-love the sparklies they put into them. Here's a close-up of all 20 awesome shades:

A rainbow of gorgeousness!

What are your current/forever favorite things? Let me know in the comments! :-)

Snippet of verse

(I have no idea where this came from...)

"This tapestry of sky can't hold us"

I am cloud-heavy, tethered to air

You are in the driver's seat, anchored to metal

And there are poems thrumming at my veins

Itching to get out

There are songs beating against my teeth

But I keep forgetting the tune

So I sing along to the radio instead

Watching while pretending not to watch

The buzz of your lips as you sing along, too

Driving with no destination, we drive endlessly

Until the horizon begins to repeat itself

This tapestry of sky can't hold us

Its indigo threads bleeding expectation and regret

So we tumble down


Into this waltz of second-guessing and you-first-then-me

Knowing somehow without knowing the steps

Somewhere between sunrise and sunset

I fall asleep

The murmur of your voice barely audible

Over the stereo

The last thing I remember is the feel of sunlight

Warm on my upturned face.

LOLcat Picture of the Week

This one made me laugh a lot for some reason. :-D

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

No Reservations: Sri Lanka

In this week's episode of "No Reservations," Anthony Bourdain is going to a country I've always wanted to visit: Sri Lanka.

One of my favorite authors, Michael Ondaatje, was born in Sri Lanka and I've come to learn a little bit about the country's rich culture from his books. I'm writing a thesis on Ondaatje's novel, The English Patient, with the focus on the assimilation of different cultures. Sri Lanka fits perfectly with my theme because the country is a blend of many different nationalities, their influences visible in everything from the architecture to the food.

Here's what Ingrid has to say about tomorrow night's show:
In the next episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Tony is truly taken in by the locals as they show him Sri Lankan culture and cuisine.

Portuguese, Dutch, British, Indian, Arab, Malay and Moor traders have all contributed to the diversity of Sri Lankan food. While in Colombo, Tony enjoys popular street foods, rides in a tri-shaw, samples lampreis, a local delicacy, and eats a heaping pile of kotu roti.

His journey doesn’t stop there. He continues onto the smaller seaside village of Seenigama and speaks to villagers about how they rebuilt their town after the devastating tsunami. Once the rebuilding was complete, the unity of the townsfolk led to other projects, like the creation of a culinary school to help Sri Lankan’s learn to properly prepare local dishes. It’s a must visit for Tony.
The new episode debuts tomorrow, Monday, March 2 at 10PM EST on the Travel Channel. Bourdain will most likely blog about it, so check his blog between today and tomorrow. I'll be sure to update this post to let you know when and if he posts something.

Here's a sneak peek to whet your appetite... Thanks, as always, to Ingrid for providing the info. and the clip! :-)