So, in previous blogs we’ve touched on all the great things that living in Sri Lanka brings – the warm (maybe a little too warm sometimes) weather, the great food, the beautiful landscape, generous holidays, the relatively reliable internet connection and the friendly people.
While all that is true, there are certain things that this Canadian is having a hard time getting used to.
1. Filthiness. Clean your house from top to bottom and in 10 seconds you’ll need to do it again. I’m not sure how it happens, but I think it has to do with the mixing of the high humidity and Colombo’s suspect air quality. I don’t think there’s anyway around the dirt, so I’m just going to have to live with black floors and feet.
2. Crazy bus drivers. Now the buses here are a nickel to ride, so for a volunteer on a budget, they are a must to get around the city. However, the drivers all seem to be competing in some invisible road race as they all nail the gas and hammer on the brakes every time they start and stop. I’ve landed in a few people’s laps already, but luckily they just look at the stupid white guy and laugh. I’m going to videotape my ride to work one day on the bus, and you’ll see that it’s an experience you’ll never get in Canada.
3. Stat holidays that do or don’t get announced until a day or two before depending on what the government decides. Now I don’t really want to complain about this as Sri Lanka has the most stat holidays in the world, but this one was hard to understand. Labour Day was on May 1 here, which was Sunday. However, everyone had to wait until Friday to see if the government had decided to make Monday a bank holiday. They announced it wasn’t, but said it would be good if private businesses gave their employees the day off anyway. Huh? It gets more confusing as I was then told that even though Monday wasn’t a holiday, most people would stay away from work anyway. So that’s exactly what I did and no one has said anything. Put that in the plus column.
4. Chaffing. Not a pleasant topic, but humidity + walking = dry wolf with a side of tears. Enough said.
5. And, I couldn’t let a list like this go by without once again mentioning the sweating. Good Lord. I’m 35 for 35 when it comes to sweating through my clothes every day. Today at work for example, they stopped a meeting I was in to open all the windows and turn on a fan for fear I was having a heart attack. I’m told that it won’t be long until my blood thins, and the sweating will subside – I have my doubts though.
All in all I have nothing really to complain about, but sometimes it’s fun. And in all honesty it’s these annoyances and shit shows that I’m going to look back at most fondly on when I leave. So bring it on Colombo, you crazy s.o.b.
P.S. Whoever is burning tires in Rajagirya, please stop it. Even the water buffalo who seem to live on the road outside my house are getting pissed. Thank you.