Ghost town

Trip Start May 11, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Friday, March 27, 2009

I arrived in Arugam Bay thinking I was going to a epic surf town. I thought it would be full of surfers, parties and beach bars. I had forgot to factor in- low season (no surf), world wide recession (no money) and Sri Lankan civil war (death tends to keep people away)  These 3 factors made the place empty!  I was the only backpacker in town and the rest were NGOs.   I walked out to the surfing point and found a wave that rolled on forever but since it was not the season it was no rideable.

     I killed 2 days here wondering around talking to people about the Tsunami.  I was told the east side of the island got very little money from the Tsunami relief fund since they were all Tamils.  The majority of the money went to the Sinhalese people.  I had dinner with about 6 different NGO organizations and learned a ton about how they worked in Sri Lankan.  They just happened to be having a meeting/dinner where I was staying.  It was super interesting..  My second day I rented a
push bike and went off to explore a beach that was a couple kilometers away.  It was near lagoon called crocodile rock.  I didn't see any crocs but I was followed around for hours by a gang of little
boys.  These kids  both annoyed and entertained me. They kept begging for pens, rupees and my sun glasses.  They loved having their photo taken and asking my name. Half perturbed and half
amused I told them my name was " I hate beggars"  I got them to chant  "I hate beggars" over and over while I filmed them.  After the filming they discovered the action kung fu shot (pretend
fights for the camera).  This  progressed to video kung fu until I got tired of it all.  I was continuously followed around by curious people. That night while taking sunset photos on the side of the road I had a cars and 2 bicycles pull over just to shake my hand......
    Arugam Bay has a internet cafe with one computer in it.  In order to charge my ipod I have to plug it into a USB port.  Since there is only one computer in town I had to wait in line.  While I was waiting the man on the computer started a conversation with me.  Once he found out that I was from the US he wanted me to become an adviser for a council called...... The Welfare Association for the Poverty Stricken Masses of Arugam Bay.  I tried to tell him that I wasn't really the man for the job but he was convinced that since I was from the U.S I had alot of pull....   A couple of weeks later I got an email from him with my name as an Adviser for this council....So if anyone wants to raise some money for school kids in Sri Lanka (to have shoes) contact me because I'm an adviser and I know where the school is!
     Since there was no waves and nothing to do in Arguam Bay I decided to head back to the
side Sri Lanka where I knew there would be both.  I caught a ride to the bus station in cushy NGO land cruiser!  On the bus I met 3 guys headed to Saudi Arabia. Many Sri Lankans get S.A. work visas and run the grocery stores there.  These guys were super nice and were just happy to hang around with me.  They ended up buying my lunch and my bus tickets!  I tried to pay but they refused..  Hospitality of this caliber was super common in Sri Lanka.  LOVE IT!
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Chandima on


Now Arugam Bay is not like earlier. Visit Sri Lanka gain see. Now it has totally changed.

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