I bowed to the inevitable today and gave a Sri Lankan English lesson to 6E2: “Open your books, turn to page so and so, do exercises thingy to whatsit”. A lot less hassle than actually teaching and it seems to be what the kids and my colleagues would expect. I was planning to repeat with 6E2, but the day was curtailed by a swimming gala. I didn’t go and watch – the staff agreed it would be very hot – but stayed around a while and then headed into town.
Tomorrow is bound to be either interesting or boring, possibly both. A guy in the staff – I don’t know who – has just lost his father and tomorrow we are all going to the funeral. What I know about Buddhist funerals could be writ large on the back of a Tibetan Prayer Flag. I asked another swimming gala dodger if there was anything I had to know, be aware of etc. She looked puzzled, so I suggested perhaps I might have to wear a hat or something: she took me literally and said I could wear one if I wanted. I did glean we have to “do” – I suspect “observe” might be a better word – the Five Precepts. Earlier in the morning, I had looked at a Buddhism Primer used in school and read about these, but at my time of life the long words and new concepts went in one ear and out the other. I don’t know what format it’ll take, how long it’ll last etc. I won’t be able to escape midway as we’re going about 20Km in a bus. Joking apart, it’ll be an interesting experience: when I said I’d be honoured to attend, I meant it. I think we all head off soon after school tomorrow.
I have decided to go to Colombo on Thursday and try to sort out my visa situation. It looks as though there’s a train at 9:00 when I checked in the station today, though I could catch one at 3:30am! I also spotted there are different ticket kiosks for second and third class, which I should have remembered and which explains my run-in with the railway police a while back.
When I arrived at the Hillside, Chaminda was working in the office. He asked if he could “borrow” 50,000/- as he needed to buy “some electrical wires”. I pointed out it wasn’t borrowing as I’d not given him any money so far and handed over the requested dosh, which should cover me up until I move out if all goes according to plan.
I must have pressed the wrong button on my camera when taking a couple of these shots as they’re partially b/w. The Buddha is golden coloured, but the “elephant gate” is grey.
Footnote: “The precepts in all the traditions are essentially identical and are commitments to abstain from harming living beings, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and intoxication. Undertaking the five precepts is part of both lay Buddhist initiation and regular lay Buddhist devotional practices.” Google
I don’t foresee a problem as long as I don’t swat a fly.