Wednesday, January 8, 2014

An expat in Sri Lanka: the Good, Bad and Ugly - Part 7

Eva Stone photo, FireworksWell it would seem 2014 has kicked off with a loud bang eek... in more ways than one. A small part of me wished for a bit of peace and quiet, but this was never going to be. And you guessed it, there were a few things that got on my goat. So, it's been loud, rambunctious and definitely a memorable start to the year! And so, here I am knocking out my first installment of "An expat in Sri Lanka" for 2014...

There were many options for New Year celebrations in Colombo this year ranging from dinner, dancing, live music, parties on the beach, festive gatherings at home and more. I did a bit of "all of the above" over the New Year's holidays and hit the beach on New Year's Day with the masses. I don't know about you, but it's always good to take a moment to reminisce and reflect on the year just passed and also to contemplate a few New Year's resolutions.

Eva Stone, New Year's Day, Mount Lavinia Beach, Sri LankaI did my reflecting and contemplating on Mount Lavinia beach. I thought it was going to be relaxed and somewhat quiet, but it turned out to be buzzing with locals and some tourists. There was a real festive feel and some beach establishments played music, while families and groups of people either frolicked in the water, played beach cricket or rugby, or played in the sand. I was surprised to see a couple of horses on the beach for children to pay to ride.

This time of year it's pretty calm in the water so it's a good time for a swim. I also like that Mount Lavinia beach now has lifeguards monitoring a stretch of the beach. Lately, I've been frequenting this beach a lot more than I used to - probably because I have a ton of friends who live down this way and I've been hanging out with them over the festive season.

In some countries the recreational use of firecrackers is banned, but not in Sri Lanka, so it makes for a cracking time during New Year's and other festive occasions. This New Year's my neighborhood was literally going off like a rocket! Lots of young lads and some adults had clearly bought up big in preparation for New Year's Eve (and the following few evenings).

Let's just say... there was interrupted sleep for consecutive nights. I woke up in fright a few times, and I even heard a few babies wailing in upset during the wee hours of the morning. Oh for the love of open window houses in tropical countries, not! I felt a little sorry for the stray dogs and cats in the area because all the firecrackers must have scared them too - you could hear the dogs whining in fear. But, as my next door neighbor said to me one morning
"Aiyo what to do! What can we do ne!? It's like this every New Year's"
And so it is love, so it is rolleyes.

** 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 **


Vanessa Steele said...

Thank you for every one of you entries. I have been infatuated with Sir Lanka since my first fearful visit in 1995. I continued to take "professional opportunities" to visit until a couple years ago and now have found myself considering taking time to find an working & living opportunity to become an expat of the USA to work and live for some time in Sri Lanka. Your blog is a wonderful concise collection of reality checks that I can both appreciate and relate to that has given me a great deal of food for thought. Please continue to Blog and thank you so much for you insight! very best regards, Vanessa Steele

Eva Stone said...

Hi Vanessa, It seems I felt the same as you - an affinity to Sri Lanka, which eventually brought me to take a punt on living as an expat here. I hope your wishes come true!
Thanks so much for the blog love - appreciate the feedback.
Warmest wishes

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this I also lived there for a short 6 months due to work .I was ready to come back to home in usa but I do miss it very much the beaches ect. The sad part is that I left my best friend there and he was denied a visa to visit me. I hopefully will see him again

Eva Stone said...

That's lovely to hear you had a good experience in Sri Lanka! It's unfortunate your best friend was denied a visa to visit you, but there's always return visits or stints in Sri Lanka in future... The country is changing (rapidly for some and slowly for others, depending on your preferences and perspective). It's still a lovely place to live.

Anonymous said...

I am planning a trip soon as you know this is their on season so prices are high. Hopefully I will find a good deal. It is so sad other countries people can come to usa so easily like Mexico and when you do things legally it does not work.

Eva Stone said...

There are always deals for various routes to Sri Lanka. Given the current climate regarding global travel there may be more airlines hoping to drum up business with better packages and fares. Yes, it is interesting how border controls operate from country to country 😉

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