A while back I started a list of things I’ll miss etc. I won’t miss the daily hand washing of clothes: it doesn’t take long and, provided I keep an eye out for evening downpours, there is absolutely no problem drying clothes, but it’s a wee chore I could do without. I won’t miss the ants either: recently I overheard a conversation between two pupils where one was telling the other that in the UK you could leave food out overnight and the ants wouldn’t get it. I briefly felt quite home-sick! I had to brush a few off my breakfast half pineapple this morning. The fruit, upside down to resist it drying out, was on a plate on a wicker chair, but the ants still found it.
Today I took the bus to Mirissa. It’s a lovely bay about 45minutes from Galle, not too over-developed but with a thin strip of cafes and bars between the road and the beach. The bay is mainly sandy and the waves quite strong: the water, of course, is warm and I enjoyed chilling out and having a couple of dips in the sea. I had set off with the intention of not eating, but the lure of three large kebabs of calamari each stuck in a large wedge of pineapple, with French fries, a tasty tomato sauce and salad for £4 was just too much.
The bus both ways was stowed out with people, but I was lucky enough to get a seat. On the way back I fell into conversation with a young man (23) who said his name was Joe and came from a village near Hambantota, a coastal area North of Galle. He told me about remembering the tsunami. It was a “full moon day” so he had been taken to the temple with his parents and he reckoned it was that simple act of worship – going inland a bit and onto higher ground – that saved the lives of his family. We covered a lot of ground: his English was good, but naturally he didn’t always manage to get his meaning across. He complained about the current Government but thought Rajapaksa had done some good things as well as bad. I got the impression he wasn’t happy about the Government’s attitude to the Tamils and also felt the Government should be doing more to make food and other essentials more affordable for Sri Lankans, which didn’t seem to include Tamils, whom he referred to as “Indians” Joe described himself as a deep-sea fisherman – off shore for up to a month at a time – and also a boat man taking tourists on the lagoons near his home. It was an interesting conversation, though language difficulties and the constant screeching of brakes meant I missed a lot.
When I got back into town it was clear the cricket match had just finished: it was still quite bright, but the bus station resounded to fireworks from the nearby cricket ground and the streets were teeming. Even if I find out result, I promise not to ring you up to pass on the result, but if you’re keen to know, you can put a comment on the blog and I’ll do my best to get the nitty gritty for you.
Tomorrow, as I think I mentioned before, I’m going to Hikkaduwa to dive with Rick. His house, 7:30am for coffee, then off we go. It’s a testament to the tolerance of wives that not only am I here, but he’s allowed out to play the day before his wife, Kris, goes in for her hip replacement operation!
The coming few days will be taken up with school and making sure I have all I need – and not too much more – ready for the grand finale of my sojourn here, the Hill Country trip. I leave after school on Thursday and should be back after various adventures on 2nd April, in good time for my flight home on the 4th. But no doubt I’ll be in touch with my adoring public before then.
LATE NEWS: Vanushka tells me it was a draw, so you can sleep soundly.