The socialists know how to booze. Nothing but Stoli vodka and coke – and the coke was certainly optional.

I had a lot of preconceived notions heading into the annual dinner and dance of the Association of Sri Lankan Graduates from Socialist Countries (ASLGSC – now that’s a bloody mouthful). Before I get into those ideas, you’re probably wondering what the hell I was doing there.

First, no, I haven’t become a communist.

Quite simply, I’ve become addicted to taking part in ridiculous situations. Whether it be an awkward meal at a stranger’s house or working at psychiatric hospital for two years, I get some sort of strange adrenaline rush from being in these strange predicaments.

So, when a doctor at the hospital invited me to join him as a guest at this bizarre event, I didn’t even hesitate to say yes. And that was before he said with a straight face, and I quote: “It will be a good year to go, as this will most probably be the last banquet we will have as the apocalypse is coming on 21 December.”

As you can see, I had no choice, but to go.

A few things I thought I’d see:

  1. Everyone wearing red
  2. Borscht and gazpacho served for dinner
  3. Those little Russian dolls handed out as door prizes
  4. Vodka flowing like water
  5. Hammer and sickle centre pieces

To my amazement, besides the plentiful vodka, none of these things were to be found anywhere. In fact, it was a very fancy Sri Lankan event with shiny shirts, a live band and curries of all shapes and sizes. There were very influential doctors, engineers and politicians, including the Russian ambassador, in attendance.

It was all very capitalist. (Shhh, please don’t tell the socialist graduates. They will be devastated.)

Networking 101

While I was enjoying the free booze, the doctor I went with was enjoying the schmoozing with all the bigwigs and collecting as many business cards as he could. He was so happy that he even seemed to forget the end of the world was approaching in only a month’s time.

Even getting ushered away from the Russian Ambassador’s table so he get eat his dinner didn’t get him down, as he simply bounced to the next powerful person in sight – networking like I’ve never seen it before!

The only downfall of the night for him was the Sri Lankan buffet meal that was served.

“For $20 I expected an international buffet,” he said while devouring a five pound plate of rice and curry.

All in all it was an enjoyable night out and one I’m glad I got to enjoy before the world comes crashing down around us. Below are a couple snaps from the night and a bit of info on the ASLGSC if you’re interested in joining.

About ASLGSC (taken from their website)

ASLGSC was established in November 1966 by the very first graduates who arrived in Sri Lanka after qualifying from Socialist Countries. Though the numbers of graduates who have been members of the organization have been very vast the number of members in the membership rolls is around 600. In 1990 the Association established its office /social club in its own property at Pelawatta, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka. Since then members have been regularly meeting in Saturday evenings. A special feature is the Dinner given by a roster of members on the last Saturday of every month.

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