Saturday, March 3, 2012

All That Glitters....

 It was by pure chance that my wife and I went to Sri Lanka. Had it not been for Sri Lankan Airlines who offered a free 3 night package en route to any destination as a tourism building measure during the time of the ceasefire brokered by the Norwegians between the Government and the LTTE, I probably would not have ventured to the previously conflict ridden land.

We were put up at the Galadari hotel in the heart of Colombo which was a lovely place and had all the usual facilities and tantrums of a good five star deluxe business hotel.

The Location: MGM Casino on Galle road…the place where we were spending the evening. A medium sized but plush place with no relation to its namesake in the US but with a good collection of gamblers.

As a rule, if we go to a gambling destination we put aside US$ 100 a piece to try our luck and spend a fun evening with top quality liquor and food that is usually included and encouraged if you are on the betting tables.

The wife, being the sensible one, pocketed her 100 dollars for shopping and I proceeded to encash mine for about 10000 Srilankan Rupees and felt pretty flush while parking myself on the roulette table with the round casino coupons of Rs. 100 each.

A Japanese senior, A Scandinavian woman, Lady Luck, the two of us on one side of the table and three portly East Asian guys on the other. We were the lambs of this table with the betting getting pretty high. But, Lady Luck was on our side and in about 20 minutes and 2 whiskeys down we were up to about Rs.150000. What ever we bet just kept going our way.

Just then an elderly Sri Lankan woman, very well dressed and dripping with diamonds and maybe close to seventy, joined our table right next to us. The wife at this point suggested we make an exit and cash our booty. My reaction: “One more Glenfiddich and Grey Goose and we’ll leave”…

The Sri Lankan lady was pretty friendly. She kept making witty jokes and just diverting our attention from the table. Somehow she was so smooth that unwittingly our bets just started getting bigger and more reckless. She just kept chatting softly about her experience at the tables and how her system worked for her most of the time… and we just kept betting.

She excused herself about half an hour later to go to the washroom and that was the last we saw of her and our money. We had lost all but Rs.2500 during our interaction with her and her stories.

The wife, now adamant, made me get up as we finished our drinks and food that they had generously served us and got our balance encashed. The smart wife then came out with the initial Rs.10000 that she had unknowing to me taken off the table and kept aside in her bag following her gut feel.

On our way back to in the hotel car that we had hired the driver asked if we had been lucky that night. And I told him about the happenings of the night describing the Sri Lankan lady and how we felt that she was somehow mixed up.

He just smiled and said.. “She owns the place…Didn’t she tell you that?” “Sri Lankan residents are not allowed to gamble in the casinos...”

Moral of the Story: Behind every successful man is his wife...but you have to listen to her...

Offical entry for as part of indiblogger