Life’s Good in Colombo…

So it turns out that one cannot extend one’s visa in the jungle…

The initial plan was to spend a day in the capital to extend my visa (am toying with the idea of staying until October) then head out to the east coast, but because I misread the guidebook, we sacked off Colombo and hopped on the oh-so-very colonial-looking observation deck of the train to Kandy for a five-hour journey seated backwards. There we were met by the wonderful Tania, the mother of a friend of mine who kindly offered to put us up for the night. She lives at the very top of Kandy’s highest hill, surrounded by boars and monkeys. We ate good food and drank cool beer and listened to tales of ex-husbands turning into women. The following morning, we made our way to the Assistant High Commission of INDIA where I was told that Colombo is in fact the only place where one can extend one’s SRI LANKAN visa. Doh.

Couldn’t face going back to dirty chaotic Colombo straight away, decided that I’d do the visa thing later, got a cab to Arugam Bay and arrived nine hours later. The guesthouse has a puppypuppypoopuppypuppy, his name’s Jimmy and he’s 7 weeks old and we’re best buddies, I let him eat my toes and he lets me treat him like a doll.

Got a sweeeeeeet double bed up on a mezzanine looking out onto the ocean. Jason sleeps in the single downstairs. Brought my board for repair as I didn’t wanna look like a tool in the water with all my bits of duct tape covering the dings. Rented a 6’2′ fish and ran to the water. Jumped in and started paddling and got hit by the world’s smallest wave and went flying onto the reef. Struggled back to the beach coz my board was sinking. It had split in two. Literally. And so had my arm. Not a good look. It did get me noticed though, amazing what two pieces of foam and some blood can do…

Got my board back the next day and caught wave after wave after wave whilst Jason got tumble-dried. Kinda nice to be better than a guy. Couldn’t stop bragging at dinner and wish I hadn’t, for I am in the land of Buddha after all and Karma is a b*tch. Woke up the next day with an ear infection and infected wounds on my feet, couldn’t bend my toes coz they were too swollen. Dave from Oz went to the pharmacy to get me some antibiotics and Mike from Oz gave me some ear drops. Marc from Oz told me to stay out of the water for a few days but I didn’t listen. They’re all in their 60’s, what do they know… Been surfing everyday for at least 6 hours, I hate to brag but… I am a mighty fine surfer… It’s gotta be said… No idea where the skills suddenly come from… Nothing beats the feeling of being the only girl in the water and fighting the boys for a wave and actually catching it before they do… The locals are so cool, we party-wave all the time… Everyone is awesome… And hot…

Met some UN guys who were driving back to Colombo so thought it’d be a cool way to go and do my visa, traveled in a UN jeep, all white with the blue writing and all. That’s probably the closest I’m ever gonna get to saving lives. Saw wild elephants on the way, they were so close you could touch them. This ain’t no wildlife reserve or safari, they’re wild wild, just hanging out behind an elephant-proof fence to stop them from crossing the roads. They have very kind eyes.

The UN boys decided to take me white-water rafting, they thought it’d be a fun way to cut the 10-hour journey to Colombo. It was. No leeches or crocs. Screamed like a girl in the rapids. Passed the spot where they filmed “the bridge of the river Kwai”, there are still bits of metal everywhere from the foundation of the bridge they built for the movie. I had no idea it wasn’t filmed on location.

In Colombo as I’m writing this, just got my visa extended to October 2nd, not sure what to do yet. The option is there. Am waiting for my club sandwich to arrive, you should see Galle Face Hotel, it’s amazing, old, colonial, rich, full of stuff, I’m sitting outside looking at the waves waiting for Irish Fergus to come pick me up in his 1970-something bright yellow Beetle to take us back to Arugam Bay. Life’s good.


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