True Story Involving Sri Lanka, Tsunami and Jews — It WILL Crack You Up.
Following the devastation of the Christmas 2004 tsunami that hit Sri Lanka, two well heeled philanthropist from New York City, of the Judaic persuasion, decide to fly to Colombo to help out — both financially and with their physical labor.
They get down there and they do a lot of good. They are down by the railway line each day, working hard, helping out … making a difference.
After a week, they feel uplifted, blessed and rejuvenated. They decide to indulge in a good dinner at an expensive Colombo restaurant (Colombo per se untouched by the tsunami). They even try the local arak … which they did agree, certainly has a kick to it … though they couldn’t verify whether it is akin to being kicked by a buffalo.
So they have a grand meal, but they refrained from having any prawns, despite repeated urgings by the waiter who tells them that Sri Lanka is famous for its pink prawns — prawns being ‘shrimp’ to you.
They get to thinking and talking. Neither of them recall ever having met a Sri Lankan jew in New York. But they are sure that there must be jews in Sri Lanka given diaspora — and Ceylon probably having been a great place to settle in. As they say to each other: “if they have jews in Ethiopia there must be jews here“.
So they call over the waiter and asks him: “Do you have any Sri Lankan jews?“
Without hesitation, the Sri Lankan waiter, wagging his head like we are prone to do, says: “No, no, Sirs. We don’t have any Sri Lankan jews. Sorry Sirs. Can I get you anything else? Maybe some prawns“.
The two Israelites are amazed. They say in unison: “Are you SURE?“
The poor waiter. His head is now trying to imitate that of a 80 year old sea turtle in heat. He is agitated. He says: “Yes, Sirs. I am very sure, Sirs. No Sri Lankan jews, Sirs. Sorry. Sorry. Would you like some prawns Sirs. Very good“.
The New Yorkers are relentless. They tell the poor waiter to go check with the manager and come back. The waiter trots off. Head shaking.
A few minutes later he comes back.
“Yes Sirs. Manager says ‘No Sri Lankan jews.’ We only have pineapple jews, mango jews, passion fruit jews, imported orange jews, we can make you some wood-apple jews or guava jews. But Sirs, no Sri Lankan jews“.