Living in Sri Lanka can be a bit shit, actually. The road we have to use to get to surf spots is terrifying and thick with choking traffic fumes, rice and curry soon becomes very dull, and it’s almost impossible to walk around anywhere without spontaneously combusting, or being flattened by a bus. I have forgotten how to use my legs.
So I find myself sometimes drifting into a strange faraway mood, pining for home, craving order, a good coffee, a decent pub and a varied diet. And I miss walking. And PAVEMENTS. I really miss pavements. Often, I catch myself wishing the next two months away, daydreaming about what I am going to eat when I get off the plane at Heathrow, who I am going to go to the pub with, and how I am going to decorate our flat. I sigh wistfully as I watch Sunday Brunch on my laptop, eyes misting over as I remember how much I enjoy a cosy Sunday morning hangover spent with avocado, poached eggs and a nice bit of rye bread.
Which is all very silly. I am not in prison, I have escaped the bleakest months in the UK by opting to fly to a beautiful tropical island, farting around teaching yoga and splashing around in the ocean. I am in the shape of my life, I have a tan (first time ever) and my hair has gone a bit blonde (definitely not ginger.)
So why do I struggle so much out here? I have fallen into the habit of glorifying home, especially Cornwall, choosing only to remember the sunny days, the nice waves, and the good bits. But by the end of last year’s busy August filled with tourists, and nursing a sprained ankle, I couldn’t wait to go back to Sri Lanka.
So I have a plan that goes a bit like this:
- Stop being a dick
- Remind myself of all the stuff that is good in my life, such as:
- I am not homeless
- I am not hungry
- I have a job I like
- I have an amazing boyfriend, friends and family
- I get to surf most days
- I am really quite bendy now, actually
- I am safe
- Make the most of the next two months:
- I have just got back to India for a couple of weeks, which is AMAZING and I must take it all in. Pictures, food, yoga, people
- Surf in this warm water as much as I can. Before I face the reality of wedging myself into my winter wetsuit that has a hole over my bumhole
- Get even fitter and better at surfing so I can show off my mad new skills to all my friends
- Become a better teacher. Keep trying out new things
- Be patient with people I have just met.
Also I feel I should mention things I like about being in Sri Lanka, because they are many (surf, anyone?)
- I love to surf here
- There is really good 4G everywhere.
- Our three bedroom flat. Way too big for us, but has a cracking balcony
- I can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with Adam. That is a nice thing to do
- I get to hang out on the beach and in the jungle, and when not travelling on death-defying, bus-crunching, lung-cancering roads, I can travel through paddy fields
- There is a local dog that wears a bow tie. Sometimes a full tie
- I really like dhal and coconut sambol
- Baby sea turtles hatching and running to the sea happens a lot here
- My friend and tuktuk driver Gayan cuts my hair. He is also an excellent dancer
- It isn’t aggressive in the water here
- I adore the flowers, especially the jasmin flowers
- I also adore my friend Jazmin, who lives across the road
- I don’t feel the need to wear as much make-up here
- I LOVE Poya. Poya is a celebration of every single full moon, and so there is a public holiday every four weeks. People down tools, there are temple festivals, fireworks and you can’t buy booze anywhere. Most of the shops close and it feels like a Sunday in a sleepy village back home. Or that weird thing where Post Offices sometimes close on a Wednesday afternoon.
- The people are really nice. Especially the girls
- waveswaveswaveswaves. Did I mention I like to surf here?
So basically I must stop being ungrateful and make the most of every second on this weird little island.