We can’t afford Nescafe Gold. It just sits in the aisle at the grocery store mocking us with its outrageous price tag, just like cereal, Schweppes ginger ale and Mars bars.

I’ve never been a morning person.

Back home, I was up at 7:30, in the shower at 7:31 and at work by 8 (okay, maybe it was more like 8:04-and-a-half) – mathematically the latest I could wake up and still make it to work on time.

Over the past year living in Sri Lanka, my morning habits have changed drastically. Even though I don’t start work until 9ish, I’m up and at em’ most days shortly after the sun rises at 6 a.m. That gives me roughly three hours extra every day that I didn’t used to have.

Why the change you ask? Well, I’m not quite sure, other than that those are the most comfortable hours of the day temperature-wise, and subconsciously, I think my mind doesn’t want me wasting it sleeping.

At first, I didn’t know what to do with the extra time, but now I’ve developed a nice mix of different activities and past times that I will definitely miss when I leave. Here are a few of my favourite things to do:

1) Eat breakfast – I never used to have time to eat before work in the olden days. Now it’s a full meal of eggs, peanut butter on bread and a banana (sorry, Sri Lankan breakfast is good, but just involves too much effort to make)

2) Drink copious amounts of Nescafe – We actually brought back some real coffee from Canada, but I only allow myself one of those beauties a day. The subsequent cups are all instant, tough to choke down, but give me a great caffeine high.

3) Fry mosquitoes with our electric tennis racket – The morning is the best time to kill mosquitoes. After a night spent trying to sip our blood through the mosquito net, they are beat and ready to seek refuge in our clothes cupboard. When I come swinging at 7:02, they don’t stand a bloody chance.

4) Snooping at people on Facebook – I like doing this at all hours of the day, but in the early morning hours is when I’m at my finest.

5) Listening to podcasts – I never really listened to podcasts back home, but here they’ve become my go-to entertainment option, especially in the morning. If you’re looking for something to fill your ear buds, my favourites are: The Adam Carolla Show, WTF, The Joe Rogan Experience  (comedy); Prime Time Sports, The B.S. Report and Hang Up and Listen (sports); and This American Life and Real Time (current events and such). Good times.

6) Think about working out – Even though I’m awake and moving early, I still haven’t managed to get into the pre-work exercise routine. I think I like doing all the other morning stuff too much, but I do like thinking about it.

7) Stand at attention for the Sri Lankan national anthem – Every morning at 8:36 they play the anthem at the neighbouring technical school. (I think it may be the Mini Pops or Alvin and the Chipmunks version). After paying my respects to the nation, I know it’s time to get my ass out the door and see what riches the day will bring.

That’s it. That’s my morning. Exciting, no?

Alright, back to sweating.

Shaun

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