Monday, 1 October 2007

In transit

As i sit in my sanitised, air conditioned, westernised, safe hotel in singapore on route to Bali I look back on Aragam Bay with fondness. It took a while for me get over my middle-class shock, fascination and squeamishness with Si Lanka's extreme poverty and was on edge for the first week or so. But once I got used to that I realised they're not all there to rip you off. Most are trying to make rupee or two and that's fair enough, but many are just going about their business — it's not all about me!

My walks up the beach to the point for a surf were peppered with shouts of "hellowhereyoufromgoodwavetodayno?" from the fishermen mending their nets in the shade of their bamboo huts. My pre or post-surf warm up/down took the form of helping drag a fishing boat up the beach beyond the reach of the high-tide.

I gravitated towards a nice geriatric crew of westerners: Jason (43) an Aragam Bay veteran of 7 years does 6 months in Sydney and 6 months in Sri Lanka and Mark (42) does 2 trips a year to Sri Lanka from the Gold Coast. Both are great surfers and have an almost comatose dryness about their humour which seem typically Australian and very funny. And then there was Tim (50) an Hawaiian surfer with a surprising, rich musical past taking in part time membership of Throbbing Gristle with Genesis P Orridge, producing dancehall and Dub with California's Jamaican ex-pats and making records and playing live on San Francisco's early rave scene.
Finally I feel relaxed in the place and the next phase of my travels beckons.

My overriding memory of Si Lanka is the locals pride, practice and proficiency in the ancient art of spitting. They are truly world class. I'm talking a loud, rolling, guttural drawing up of all the throats phlegm followed by a spit which could knock a bird out of the tree.

1 comment:

sis said...

Always the way - just get relaxed and settle in and then your off. May I congratulate you on your fine writing - a really talented bro! How's your nerve?