Monday, December 23, 2013

Travel Monday: Eva's Top Five Sri Lanka Travel Experiences 2013

As we near the end of 2013 it makes sense to look back on some of the travel I enjoyed around Sri Lanka this year. If you've been following my blog you'll be aware there has been plenty to of travel and quite a list to choose from! I suppose... when I consider all the places, people and experiences it is interesting to understand how I've narrowed the list down to my final top five. 

I've discovered it's not just a particular place nor solely a pleasurable experience that has led me to the top five. More than anything, it's been the total travel experience - my travel companions; people I've met along the way, the relative ups-and-downs; and of course, the unexpected things that arise on the journey itself.

To read all of my travel related posts, please check out my page which provides a list of my Travels.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

An expat in Sri Lanka: the Good, Bad and Ugly - Part 6

As 2013 is coming to a close (wow, only 13 days and counting!), there's an internal push within me to publish one more "Expat in Sri Lanka" blog post wink.  We're up to part 6 and there'll probably be more on the cards in 2014. It's like there are many quirky experiences or encounters by living in a place like Sri Lanka - just thinking of some of my most recent experiences brings a smile to my face, as well as a few groans. Naturally this can be a blessing in disguise, or unfortunately in some cases, a kick in the teeth. I'll let you be the judge...

Christmas is a special time for gift-giving and this usually means heavy-duty shopping, card writing and then trips to the local post office to mail items from Sri Lanka to various locations around the globe. Unlike post offices back home, the local post offices around Colombo over the festive season are relatively quiet or operating like business-as-usual. So it's nice not being faced with long lines of people at the post office weighed down with parcels and packages

There's nothing worse than lining up for an hour or more just to get your gifts sent off in time (definitely one of the things I don't miss about the UK at this time of the year!)

Unfortunately, I found there are other things to contend with as an expat living in Sri Lanka. It could be a one-off occurrence or just unique to me, but in any event, a story of vigilance when going to the post office is about to be shared.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Plans for spending Christmas 2013 in Sri Lanka

I was due back home for Christmas this year, but due to travel scheduling I visited home in advance of the festive season. There was also tentative plans to try to catch the Ashes Boxing Day Test at the MCG, but I'm kind of glad these plans did not work out, what with the poor performance by England (and solid performance by Australia) in Brisbane, Adelaide and now Perth. And this is quite a thing for me to say, as there is nothing quite like the Boxing Day Test at the G! Just saying...

As you may have known, I've been out of the country for a couple of months for both work and holidays. It was lovely to go and come back - you get the opportunity to forget about some of the things that drive you up the wall living in Sri Lanka, but also receive an opportunity to reflect  on the things to be appreciated about Sri Lanka or some of the things you may have taken for granted. In many ways it feels like I got to press my "reset" button.

So I'm currently in the midst of my festive plans for spending Christmas in Sri Lanka. It's pretty straightforward... feasting at my place! I'm having sort of an "open house day" for my invited friends and colleagues to drop by, exchange gifts, feast and be merry. Of course, it will feel a little strange in the tropics instead of the wintery Christmas I'm used to back home.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Medicinal gold and rasa treatment in Sri Lanka

When you take any form of medical treatment, whether it is conventional or alternative, the importance of having faith in your chosen treatment needs to be considered. The mind and body go hand-in-hand so to speak. Quite often people may seek out alternative therapies but are skeptical or doubtful about their ability to heal. Of course, there are times you can't be blamed for having this view as there are a few tricksters out there who have no ability to heal, but charge for it anyway. Likewise, even when it comes to conventional medicine, there are challenges. Funnily, I know an old married couple in Colombo - the husband has total faith in conventional medicine, while his wife has total faith in ayurveda or alternative medicine. There's often a bit of "hoo-ha" in their household whenever either of them is unwell and need to seek medical treatment.

As you may know (or have read) from my earlier blog post about ancient alternative therapies in Sri Lanka, I have an enthusiasm and interest in this area. For me, 2013 has been a year of exploration and "taking a punt" on a variety of ayurvedic treatments available in Sri Lanka. My foray into this exotic world of herbal and energy treatments has largely been triggered through friends and other acquaintances in search of some kind of remedy or treatment from vedha mahathiyas with specialist healing skills - this has ranged from treatment of general ailments to diagnosed long term illnesses.