Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Aragam Bay

I’m only 5 surfing-days into this trip and my decrepit old body is already giving up. My sciatic nerve has become painful again and the bodily contortions I involuntarily do to protect that area has pulled a muscle further up my back. I stayed out of the water yesterday in order to recover and am having some physio this morning to help loosen things up. Fingers crossed that this doesn’t become an extended sunbathing holiday. I’m not very good at sunbathing.

In this small sleepy village you get to n ow the characters pretty quickly. Derek, the reluctant caretaker of his brothers tsunami ravaged Siam View hotel, holds court every evening. His casual colonial-style racism can’t mask the warm heart within and he really does love Asia and the Asians having lived in Hong Kong, Thailand and Sri Lanka for the last 25 years or so. He just doesn’t like Sri Lanka. His trusty monkey-keeping German sidekick Wolfgang prepares food and lures newcomers to his safari tours, whilst quietly despising Sri Lanka too. It’s more amusing than it sounds and many an hour can be whiled away in their company. On some evenings when there’s a couple of Aussies, an American or two, a couple of Germans, an English contingent, some surly Israelis, the odd Sri Lankan driver and some UN and NGO folks in I can imagine myself holed-up in a Baghdad war correspondents hotel.

The polar opposite of the Siam View is the place I tend to eat every evening. Sooriyas is presided over by a wonderful Tamil Hindu man called Ram. This slight, unassuming bare-chested man has a long grey beard from which regularly emerges an infectious almost toothless grin. His quiet, caring, generous, open-minded character is the antidote to the cynical ex-pat westerners and his cooking is sublime and at £1 for a meal and 50p for a beer it’s embarrassingly cheap. Ram was in London during the 60’s hippy revolution, in New York for part of the 70’s and in Berlin after the wall came down so his ego-less innocence is born of practice rather than ignorance.

Right, I’m off to be cured by a Danish woman. Wish me luck…


Emma said...

Ed i want to see pics of you - make people take pics of you! hope you are feeling better darling. i want to have dinner with Ram !! :( xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

phil said...

hello mate laughing a lot with you not at you will say more soon late for dinner at sprads did you know he got married in las vegas love and surf phil xxxxxxx

Mum said...

Hello Edward,
Sorry you're not feeling up to scratch. Please get better soon. Here we are in Canada, a very long way from Sri Lanka yet the power of blog makes us feel nearer. A miracle! I agree with Emma, we'd like to see you.
Love, Mum

Anonymous said...

hey Ed, enjoying the writing and i hope you are on the mend mate! S x