Ok, so it seems as those the Buddha’s advice of taking the middle path just doesn’t apply to my life. Not long ago, I was unemployed and going a bit crazy from the heat and trying to keep the floors clean. Now in the course of a couple months, I have traveled to Canada to get my work visa, started a new job, and been a tour guide as Shaun and I have tried our best to navigate Rob and Judy through Sri Lanka unscathed.
It is really nice to see Sri Lanka through Rob and Judy’s eyes since everything is new and a little bit crazy to them. This has helped me to appreciate the little things that make everyday life here wonderful.
Some Quirky Things I Love about Sri Lanka
– People reuse everything. They even use empty vodka bottles as water bottles at work. Needless to say, I was taken aback the first time I saw this.
– They have very creative names for stores and products. For example, “Lovers” is a shoe store and “Smak” is a fruit juice with the slogan “full of natural goodness”.
– Neighbours look out for one another – literally. Everyday when we are going and coming our 77 year old landlord, Mr.Rufus Siriwardana asks “Where are you going?” and “When will you return?” At first we thought he was just being nosy, but we soon realized that he is making sure we are alright. Plus, I think he finds the strange things we do to be a good source of entertainment.
– Have I mentioned how delicious the food is?
– The beauty and diversity of the landscape- Within three weeks, we are able to show Rob and Judy the beaches, the hill country, forests and plains all within 300km of each other!
– Relationships always come first. This can be a bit difficult to adjust to since we come from such a goal-oriented culture. For example, when I went into the supply room at work to get a couple of extra pens, I couldn’t leave until I had we had established my name, my marital status, whether I have kids or not, the name, age and favourite things of all my family members, where I live, what I think of Sri Lanka and whether I like Sri Lankan food or not. Most of which I managed to cover in Sinhala (very poorly)! In actuality this turned out to be quite practical as it gave us a chance to fill out and file the 5 forms that are required, and I got to know Kolarata much better.
– In Sri Lanka it is perfectly acceptable to question people about certain topics that would be taboo in Canada. “How old are you?”, “Why don’t you have children?”, “How much money do you make?” , as well as questions regarding the cost of anything you’ve bought are all fair game.
– When your propane runs out for your gas cooker you can have a full one delivered. All it takes is one phone call and 15 minutes later a guy with 5 propane tanks meticulously balanced on a motorcycle comes and replaces it.
– The smiles and head bobbles grow on you. I’ve even found myself bobbling my head inadvertently.
That’s all I can think of for now.
Hoping to blog soon about my first week of school and include some photos – if I can find the time:)