Really like Sri Lanka.
We are both really starting to like Sri Lanka, don’t know why at the moment. (A big pause while I try and get the words) it may be just our local area Unawatuna. As we have been here for nearly 3 weeks we have started to get to know some of the local business people. Yes they are trying to make a living and we have been over charged, however in general they are genuinely nice people willing to help. I think it is just in them to say hello with a smile, try to have a small chat and be nice.
We first noticed it with our Tuk Tuk driver Dinesh. On our first trip into Galle we didn’t have the correct coin only big notes and no change, first time we had met him and time to pay, he said don’t worry you can pay tomorrow and just left. Is it good business? I don’t know. Would it be done in Aust? Definitely not. From this point forward we only used his Tuk Tuk service, so essentially answered my first question. We have also noticed a sense of community, it is evident as all the shop owners know each other and are willing help each other out in our little area of town.
To me, money doesn’t seem to be the driving force behind the people, it is social interaction, building a rapport, delivering a service and then try for repeat business. The coin will come from here. We walk up the street and everyone says hello regardless if we have purchased from them or purchased and not returned. They all ask how are you going and we will see you tomorrow. It seems very genuine, refreshing and something I would like to take away from our stay in Sri Lanka.
Anyway today same same as yesterday school work for Autumn, Spring and I went for an early morning swim and then returned for lunch across the road 4 x roti, this time I would try mine with sambal. It was hot, I think I liked the banana better but over committed on the chilli so had to finish it off as is. Back in the AC room for the afternoon more school work for autumn and free time for spring. Afternoon swim and then up the road to Pink Elephant for dinner. Nice easy day. Returned for bed, approx. 0100 and then the biggest storm rolled through and lasted about 2 hours. Our roof leaked onto Summers head, so we had to move the bed. There was that much rain I thought it was going to flood. When we woke in the morning it was OK.
Mirissa day trip.
Today we arranged for Dinesh to take us to Mirissa. It is roughly 30km south from Unawatuna and about 40-50minutes via our Tuk Tuk. Stopped off on the way at Weligama for some photos and some more stick fisherman were out. I stuck the camera out for a photo and this guy sitting in a shed by the side of the road ran up and started demanding money, I refused because I hadn’t actually taken a photo that’s how quick he was. We found it rude and Dinesh agreed and says he has a problem with them being this aggressive. He thinks noone will want to have photos with them.
Moved on to Mirissa it was nice very much like Unawatuna with 2 big differences it is less populated or popular and is a proper surf beach. Walked the length and at the end there is a rock island that you can walk up and get some nice photos. We walked back to the other end were Dinesh dropped us off and had a swim and a bite to eat. Watched some local and tourist surfers catch some good waves out past the point and even got a classic surf photo with the point in the background.
Dinesh arrived 1400 as scheduled and as we returned to Unawatuna he stopped in at a small beach and we saw three turtles swimming in the surf, what perfect timing. Can you see the turtle in the feature photo of this post?
Tonight we wanted to try something different for dinner and went right up the other end of the beach to a place called Black and White Café. It was a nice change eating on the beach and we saw one of the best sunsets we have seen here in Unawatuna. Walked along the beach back to our place and had a beer at Hot Rock before returning to bed. Another nice easy day in Sri Lanka.
Today I was up 0545 meet Dinesh 0600 go to the local bus stop in Galle. I needed to return to Colombo for the India Visa’s. All I had to do today was drop off the passports. Weird I know why didn’t they just take the passports when we were there a week ago? I would only have to return to pick them up today.
Anyway arrived Galle 0620 and was on the 0630 luxury bus. One thing we have learnt from our travels is, if it is a 3 hour ride it will more than likely be 3.5. Anyway it was the same as last week, people just piled on and it was standing room only with Sri Lankan pop music pumping out the speakers. Got to the outskirts of Colombo and it was chaos, madness everyone was out doing their shopping before the Sri Lankan New Year. That’s right we will have another New Year celebration all within 3 months, crazy.
Anyway got to the visa place approx. 1015 and lodged the passports and would be able to pick up 1630 the following day. All up I think I was in the place no more than 15 minutes. So from here I went to a chemist. My allergies have been flared up since I have been in Sri Lanka, I think it is the curries, sambal coconut, have been avoiding these for dinners lately but still have a little breakout. Deep down it might be the lion beer.
Anyway was offered 2 x types of clarytine the normal and a black market edition so I took both and will compare my allergic reactions. I then returned to the bus stop, would have missed 2-3 public buses, sure enough the next bus along was the one I had caught up to Colombo doing a return leg so I jumped on and arrived Galle 1415. Dinesh met me at the bus stop and I was back approx. 1445. Took Spring for a swim as she was a little bored while Summer and Autumn finished off her school work. They met us down the beach for one last time before returning to the room, Mike the bracelets, little trinkets pop up shop guy loves to play a joke on anyone and he had a real fun time with Spring always hiding and then giving a hi 5. Well this time on the way back he had a western tourist looking for her one lost thong.
Mike starts yelling that a dog has run away with it and the dog just ran up the street, so the woman starts to run after the dog and then Mike get the thong from on top of his roof. We all had a great laugh, even her. Returned showered and up to the Hut for dinner. Tonight the guys put on chocolate roti for the girls as an entrée and then as a desert all free and also when it was bill time they didn’t charge me for the lion beers, we ended up paying for the beers and were very grateful for the offer. But as per usual like all the local businesses they say ‘we will see you next year‘. We are all a little sad to be leaving tomorrow.