Rice; the standard meaning is the food that is prepared by boiling chaffed paddy seeds. But ‘fried rice’ is referred to as‘rice’ in Sri Lanka’s common roadside restaurants. They have mercilessly dropped out ‘fried’ from ‘fried rice’. They will offer you ‘chicken rice’ for chicken fried rice, ‘seafood rice’ for seafood fried rice, and so on. In some smaller food joints they call ‘fried rice’ as ‘Pride Rice’ or ‘Fright Rice’ or simply ‘Fight Rice’. Whatever it is, you must understand that it means fried rice and nothing else. Sometimes I feel that we are unknowingly venting our anguish towards the British for their bloody rule on us for 133 years, by torturing their language!
If anyone in Sri Lanka asks you, “Have you got a lap?” or “Did you bring your lap?” or “Can I use your lap to send an Email?”, do not get scared. That’s how, many guys nowadays talk about laptop. Here they have circumcised ‘laptop’ to a mere ‘lap’. When the USB Flash Drives arrived in Sri Lanka, people here started calling it the Pen-drive considering its size, just as calling ‘pen-torch’ and ‘pen-knife’ for small flashlights and knives. Soon, the pen-drive became very popular and the ‘drive’ part was dropped out. Now if someone talks about a ‘pen’ in Sri Lanka, it is 80% certain that he must be talking about a flash-drive and not a writing pen.
Three-wheeled taxies are a popular means of transportation in Sri Lanka. When they first came to the country we called it the ‘Three-wheeler’, but the term was soon cut-short as ‘Three-wheel’. Even ‘Three-wheel’ was too much for many of our guys. Ultimately, ‘Three-wheel’ also faced the ground reality. They kicked off ‘three’, and the vehicle of the commons became the ‘Wheel’. Today, hundreds of ‘Wheels’ hit the streets of every Sri Lankan neighbourhood everyday. Someone would say, “I bought a Wheel!” Don’t worry. If you don’t have a car, just hire a Wheel and travel to every corner!
For most westerners ‘tea’ means a refreshing black liquid brewed
That’s the way of us Sri Lankans. You got to learn Sri Lankan English. Knowing it can sometimes save you thousands of rupees and hours of time in Sri Lanka!