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.

A few days ago I was posting the last of my Christmas gifts at one of the post offices in Colombo. I was quoted a price for my parcel, paid the amount and then had the tedious task of licking and placing stamps on my parcel. For some reason, I noticed a Rs. 100 discrepancy between what I paid for postage and the value of stamps I was given to place on my parcel.

"I guess the postage clerk thought he'd take some extra money off me to pay for his two or three malu paan (i.e. fish buns) for lunch that day rolleyes"


It's not often like this, but I have had a few encounters every so often where the outcome has left me thinking "Oh go on... try and rip me off again!"...



** Please note, the full blog post has been removed as parts of the blog content will be edited for inclusion in an upcoming publication by the author. More information will be made available on the Adventures in a Tuk-Tuk Blog in due course **







12 comments:

MissLaurenAlicia said...

Hi! I have just seen your blog for the first time, and I found it really interesting as I was thinking of moving to sri lanka for a while myself! (Im from australia though), my friends and family are worried though, I was wondering if you could write about living as a woman in sri lanka and the dangers or perks?
Thank you! Lauren

Eva Stone said...

Thanks for the comment. I will see what I can write for a post. It's a pertinent question and one I have firsthand experience with. Watch this space! Good luck with everything, whatever you decide :)

Eva Stone said...

I've just published something on this today as a new blog post: http://adventuresinatuktuk.blogspot.com/2014/05/an-expat-in-sri-lanka-good-bad-and-ugly.html

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog. Could you say something more about the weather and whether there are mosquitoes in Colombo? Thanks.

Eva Stone said...

Thanks for your feedback and question. Well, the climate is actually more interesting than you would think, depending on where you are on the island. Sri Lanka has its well-known beaches and tropical climate (and monsoon season) across most of the island; dry and hot weather in the northern inland; and also cooler climates around the hill country and central highlands.

Yes, there are mosquitoes in Colombo. There are also mosquitoes throughout most of the island, though more in certain regions. You might like to check out my blog post on the subject:
http://adventuresinatuktuk.blogspot.com/2014/05/a-love-hate-affair-how-to-live-with.html

Hope this helps!
Best,
E

Anonymous said...

wow, thanks... an eye opener

Anonymous said...

Hi, my partner lives in SLand we've been dating almost 2 years now. I live in Australia and work full time so that I can afford to visit him. Unfortunately I am only allowed 4 weeks of annual leave per year and last year I managed to sneak in a few extra weeks and visited 3 times but this year my work have not been so lenient. We are planning on me moving over there within the next 2 years once we are married and have our home and finances in order but the distance between us is becoming increasingly difficult. I have been thinking of possibly moving to SL sooner but possibly to Colombo and working and living there until we are married and can live together. Have you got any suggestions for finding work? Where to begin looking?
Thanks

Eva Stone said...

Hi Anonymous,
Yes, it's a common challenge when you're dating someone who lives in another country. Glad you have plans in the offing to live in the same country, and even better, it's Sri Lanka. I have received a similar question regarding finding work in Sri Lanka. Please have a look at http://adventuresinatuktuk.blogspot.com/2014/02/evas-mailbox-miscellaneous.html and http://adventuresinatuktuk.blogspot.com/2014/08/evas-mailbox-miscellaneous.html (for other areas that might be helpful).
You can email me at eatingkotthu@gmail.com if you any further questions.
Wish you well with your plans!
Best,
Eva

Anonymous said...

The Best drink for everyone is called Kombucha tea. It is cheap made at home and you can drink it daily. Gods medicine. One can buy the scoby for about 2 dollars and then make it at home. Instructions are on youtube videos.

Eva Stone said...

Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

Have you come across or have any opinions on raising expat children in Sri Lanka? We're thinking about a change of scene and what it would be like to raise a child there… thank you.

Eva Stone said...

Hi Anonymous, yes I have come across lots of opinions and a variety of stories about raising expat children in Sri Lanka. For the most part, they are positive experiences. But there are also families that have had a mixed experience. You can email eatingkotthu[at]gmail[dot]com if you'd like to know more. I will be publishing a post on this topic in the near future, so watch this space.
Best,
Eva

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