Saturday, May 31, 2014

An expat in Sri Lanka: the Good, Bad and Ugly - Part 9

Eva Stone photo, beach, Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka
My mailbox has been inundated this year with emails from across the globe, largely from women who are either interested in or are about to embark on a longer stint in Sri Lanka. So, this post is largely going to focus on what it is like to be living as an "expat woman" in Sri Lanka and my thoughts on any perils or perks. It also comes in response to a number of recent requests for greater insight into my experience and lessons learnt over the past six years. 

I would caveat at the outset that my experience as a British expat woman living in Sri Lanka is only one perspective seen from my lenses, and there will be other expat women with similar and/or different thoughts, experiences, background and perspective from me. Please keep that in mind as you read this post.

Overall, I'd have to say my life in Sri Lanka continues to go well and I have no thoughts of moving away from Sri Lanka at this stage. Naturally, this is always subject to change, but right now I'm happy with my current set of circumstances. If you've been following my blog you'll already know I've embarked on a tentative move to Kandy, though I'm still trialing the move (i.e. I'm living between both Colombo and Kandy at present wink). It has actually opened things up for me in a positive way.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Vesak: Around Kandy Lake and Sri Dalada Maligawa

Last year I wrote quite an extensive post on "Reflections on Vesak in Colombo" so I feel like I don't need to rehash that blog post. If you haven't read it before and you're interested, then please feel free to read the post.

In the weeks leading up to Vesak, I've spent more time in and around Kandy. The Kandy Lake and Sri Dalada Maligawa provide a real focal point and, for me, there is a real sense of good vibrations. Rather than write a whole spiel, I'd like to share a samll number of photos in the lead up to Vesak.

This photo of Sri Dalada Maligawa was taken at around 5.35am this morning from across the Kandy Lake...

Eva Stone photo, pre-dawn, Wesak, Kandy Lake, Sri Dalada Maligawa, Temple of the Tooth

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A love-hate affair: How to live with mosquitoes

This post is dedicated to a special friend of mine who has a very unique relationship with mosquitoes. It's not love, nor is it aversion. It's more like an acknowledgement and agreement to live in relative harmony with these blood-sucking critters. Rather than obliterate these insects he finds weird and crazy ways of catching them live and evicting them from his home! It's genuinely funny to watch. 

For my part, I have a healthy dislike towards those dastardly mozzies! However, the mosquitoes seem to love me, or rather, love my juicy blood mad

When I first moved to Sri Lanka I knew I'd have a hard time adjusting to the mosquito situation. I just wasn't used to sharing my space with them, let alone thinking about them. When you live in the tropics you quickly learn that air circulation is a major requirement, so all homes are custom-built with open air vents above the windows to allow air to freely move in-and-out of the home. If everything is closed off then things tend to go downhill fast - mustiness, dirt and mold start to fester. But, if there are open vents these are the ways mosquitoes enter your space. And it only takes one mosquito to hurt you!

However, if you're not keen on being "eaten alive" then you have to get with the program pretty darn quick. I've had some nasty experiences rocking up to friends' houses in skirts rather than pants (or should I say trousers!) and then being bitten so bad my legs have resembled pink poker dot patterns and I had itching down to an art form!