Hello World. It's Eva here, checking in from Colombo, Sri Lanka after a longer blog hiatus than what I had originally planned. It's been a very challenging time on the island and that's putting it very, very mildly. As you will have heard, Sri Lanka was targeted in the worst possible way on 21 April 2019 with coordinated mass bomb attacks on churches and luxury hotels. I was not near the bombings on that day, however, I was frantic and fearful after learning what happened and scrambling to find out about local family and friends across the island.
My friends and I lost relatives, colleagues and friends on this day.
There were numerous calls to inform and console relatives and friends residing here and abroad. And I will never forget many of these heart-wrenching calls. One was with a friend living in Australia, who lost his aunty in one of the church bombings and he was completely devastated. He was due to bring his family to see her (and other relatives).
My family has been distraught and concerned. It's possible they are more concerned now than when I first moved to Sri Lanka during the war. They want me to come home to them, but also understand that I can't or won't for now. I remind them of the IRA attacks and the 2005 London bombing. We've experienced these kinds of situations before. It is what it is.
Tuesday, 14 May 2019
Thursday, 7 February 2019
In the past couple of weeks I've had some very interesting discussions with local friends, and long-term expats in Sri Lanka, about the problem with some of these social media posts.
Although this term wasn't specifically used in the various discussions, the issue we were discussing relates to certain Instagram posts being tone deaf to the realities of life and culture in Sri Lanka. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "tone deaf" as "having or showing an obtuse insensitivity or lack of perception particularly in matters of public sentiment, opinion or taste".
Tuesday, 29 January 2019
My friend, Hiruni dropped in last week to catch me up on her recent travels to India and make use of my wifi. While we were catching up, she dropped something into our conversation that I thought was quite interesting. Basically, it was to do with the use of debit and credit cards in Sri Lanka. She blurted out that she never uses her debit card for any purchases in Sri Lanka and only uses her credit card if she has no other payment option. Yes, you read that right, she has a local debit and credit card, but she never or won't use them unless she's forced to.
I was like, "What? Hiruni, seriously? Why?" I had all kinds of thoughts going through my head. Was it due to privacy and being tracked on what she spends; or fear of a phishing scam; or not trusting her spending using the cards?
Anyway, Hiruni went on to say, "Nangi, it's like this. When I have used these cards, something always goes wrong and I lose money."
"What do mean? Like something dodgy?, I asked, for further clarification.
Monday, 21 January 2019
Last week, I was fortunate to have been invited to a small dinner gathering at the home of friends. I've known this Sri Lankan lady, who I call Aunty M, for most of the time I've lived on the teardrop island. And over the years, I've also grown closer to her extended family who live in and around Colombo. It was Aunty M's younger sister's birthday, and I along with twenty family members were invited for dinner to celebrate her 60th birthday.
Although the invitation was for 6.30pm, it wasn't till 8.30pm that all the invitees had finally arrived. This is not an unusual occurrence, given the nature of 'island time' and the daily traffic congestion that plagues the capital. For my part, I arrived promptly just after 6.30pm and was the first one to arrive. I should really have known better, but my upbringing denies me the capacity to be even fashionably late. However, it didn't stop me from thinking, as I politely waited for everyone else, that I probably could have popped to the gym for a workout and still made it back in time for the last stragglers to arrive. It was also safe to say, it was going to be a few more hours till we could begin the meal.
Tuesday, 15 January 2019
Back in 2013, I started this blog as a way of sharing the experience of living as a foreigner in Sri Lanka. It began small, and over the years it grew with more interest from around the world. It also provided a way for me to give back to the island, and to help others to explore, travel and move to the island. Many people, local and abroad, have connected with the blog and shared my enthusiasm for the adventures that abound in Sri Lanka.
I wanted to offer a free book many years ago, to help travellers and expats make the transition to Sri Lanka easier and less overwhelming. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time, nor sufficient knowledge and experience about publishing, to make that happen. I still don’t have enough time, but I now have a little knowledge and experience of publishing, so here it is. Better late than never, as the saying goes.
Move to Sri Lanka: A Mini Guide for Foreigners and Expat Sri Lankans (“Mini Guide”) has emerged as a gift for those with an interest in visiting or moving to Sri Lanka for a short stint, longer stay, or a more permanent move.
So, if you're considering a work opportunity; thinking about a lifestyle change; looking into a business or investment project; coming over with your Sri Lankan spouse; curious to try out or return after many years living and working abroad; wondering if Sri Lanka is a viable place for retirement, or some other weird and wonderful reason, I hope this Mini Guide helps to address some common questions about moving here and help make the process easier.