"Charlie don't surf, sir!"
Trip Start Jan 14, 2009
21Trip End Mar 25, 2009
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Where I stayed
Surf Beach hotel. .
Apologies to all of those of you who travel along with me on the web, but a little jaded-ness, depression, and homesickness are part of the game. One does tend to get a little lonely at times too, always making new friends is great, but when they are always in transit to somewhere else, life seems a bit transitory. Especially when one is in transit.
Sri Lanka is a bit like India. Except that it is easy to get around, not everyone who calls you "friend" wants to take you for a ride, the sky is bluer, the food is better, even the soldiers at the airport are friendly and offer you a light for your cigarette. OK, Sri Lanka is nothing at all like india. There is much much less litter. Hardly any beggars. Touts yes, but you just say no and wave them off, and they smile and go on their way.
One drawback is that it is much more expensive here--the people really make their money for only a few months a year, and have to make up for the lack of tourists by raising prices. On the bright side, the dollar is worth quite a bit more here than it was last time. Also there is plenty of beach for a bad-to-non-surfer such as myself, and also many other people of the same ilk. So this afternoon, a few of us novices will risk life and limb in the waves as the more accomplished riders laugh and run us over with their tiny boards.
Sri Lanka is a bit like Goa, only with something other to do than go on the piss at noontime, read, or listen to really bad hippy music or trance (which ain't really music at all folks, it's made by computers). Hey, even I have been known to take a few of the right pills and shake a leg on the dance floor to a Goan trance beat, but face it, the stuff is not for listening. Of course, neither is the grateful dead, phish, or jimmy buffett. . .
There are a number of reasons for the lack of western travelers here and especially in India. The wars in afghanistan, iraq, and here in sri lanka, terror attacks in mumbai and also here in SL, and the general global economy which brings about a feeling of wanting to lay low and await better times in the general populous. I've never been one to follow fads or trends, I'm a bit fearless (hey, when your time comes, it comes. . ), and tend to be a bit recession proof since I have not been in finance or real estate playing with money that was never mine to begin with. Hell, I move pianos. Moving money is for sissies, it just isn't that heavy to begin with, and you never have to carry it up to the fifth floor with no elevator.
And so the general screwed-up-ness of government comes between people meeting each other, even in their home territories. Also the small tourist-driven economy is messed about because of what those who call themselves our "leaders" decide to do to others who call themselves others' "leaders." A load of bullshit if you ask me, but that's just one humble man's opinion.
As for myself, I think I can maybe feel a palpable stress--subtle, but still there that affects my own attitude. It's hard to fiddle while Rome burns, I guess, but so it is.
I believe I will spend my days in Sri Lanka here in Hikkaduwa, where tanned and sunbleached surf junkies spend their days on the breaks out by the reefs. It's nice enough to sleep with the sea as a lullaby, and to have my favorite kotturotti in the evenings. Lion beer is passable as well, at least when compared with any of the swill that passes for indian beer these days.
Some rest, relaxation, surf and sun, and I should be tanned and right as rain come the time to fly back to the chaos of India for the last time at the end of the month.