Of the few people that read our blog, many have said to me, “Man, you sure don’t like living there.”
At first, that comment took me by surprise because I actually like living and working here a lot. The weather is great, the beaches and jungles are spectacular and our standard of living is arguably better than it is in Regina (making a tiny fraction of the income). But when I went back and read some of the stuff I’ve written, I can kind of see what people are talking about.
My only defense is that it’s no fun to read, or for that matter write, about how great and beautiful everything is. I want to read about the ugly, dirty and funny side of life. Save the beauty for the postcards. I want to hear about falling down sewers and shitting on trains. Now that’s entertainment.
But, just to prove that my life doesn’t suck, here are a few things that are awesome about living in Sri Lanka:
- Never having to wear socks – While I do wear them some days to work (when I want to look professional), many days are sock and toe jam-free.
- Gin – You don’t know how good a-hot-weather-drink gin is until you’ve lived in a tropical country for a year. I swear its magical and actually wicks away sweat much like Cool-Max t-shirts…dipped in gin!
- Elephant House Butter Crunch ice cream – This is a newly introduced flavour and it is fantastic (although not surprisingly not up to Milky Way standards). More sweating = more ice cream eating. Goes well in a gin float.
- Swatting mosquitoes with an electrified tennis racket – Not sure if we have this device in Canada, but ever since we won this beauty at a Sinterclaus party in December, the first thing I do in the morning and last thing I do at night, is electrocute dozens of mosquitoes that are hiding out in our closet. The sound of the zap and the smell of the burn brings a smile to my face.
- Catching the bus as soon as you get to the bus stop – Not being a public transit rider in the past, I never knew about the euphoria one gets when timing your arrival at the stop perfectly to when the bus pulls up. As timetables don’t exist in Sri Lanka, it’s always a guess as to how long you’ll wait and how much you’ll sweat.
- A symmetrically tucked in mosquito net – This means you’re not sucking in mesh at 4 a.m.
- Radio stations – Last night at the gym I heard some classics on the radio that I haven’t thought about in years – “Everybody Walks the Dinosaur” by Was Not Was, “Things that make you go hmmm” by C and C Music Factory and “Regulators” by Warren G. Those beauties were played back-to-back-to-back. Love the randomness…which leads me to the next one…
- Randomness – Almost once a week I have to give myself a shake and think where the hell am I and how did I get in this situation? Life is extremely random and fleeting here and no one seems to mind. This week’s Give Your Head a Shake Moment was when I was sitting on the set of a Sri Lankan talk show watching traditional dancing while talking with a stagehand about how I was not from Germany. Good times. Last week’s moment was playing a sport called netball in my khakis with residents at the women’s psychiatric halfway home right after I got interviewed by a Sinhalaese TV news crew. Why not?
There are plenty more awesome things that I will write about in the future, but just to make sure I stay true to my roots as a downer, here are a couple small things that suck…
- Hangovers in the tropics
- Having to wear pants to work
- Having to wear pants at all