1) Having the surf of my life It was 4pm in Pottuvil Point, the ocean was glassy and sets of 1 meter-high waves kept coming in at regular intervals. Rick, Beef, Holland and I were the only people left. We paddled in and caught one wave after another, really fat, friendly, mellow waves in the sunset, looking out into the jungle, surrounded by fireflies. I managed every transition and escaped the white water, the bane of my life until very recently. We left when it got dark and made our way home in a tuktuk not saying a word, just smiling knowingly at the fact that at that precise moment, we were the happiest people on earth.
2) Shooting an AK-47 It was 2pm in Pottuvil Point and the place was heaving with guests and surfers when out of nowhere, 2 men appeared, carrying big machine guns. They sat by the ocean and started shooting at nothing in particular. Everyone got slightly worried, as you would, but no one said anything. As they walked past us I asked them what they were shooting at. The guys didn't speak a word of English and thought I was asking if I could have a go on their guns. I tried to ask again but still they didn't get it. So when one of them put a bullet in the charger and handed me the weapon, I took it, aimed at the coconuts in the tree and shot. I guess I can understand why some of the people at the guest house weren't very happy with me as this is a country at war after all, but I get to go home with the memory of standing on a beach in my bikini drinking tea with my friends looking at the surf and shooting an AK-47.
3) Being the only girl in the water There are other girls in this town but our paths never seem to cross beyond the parties and the barbecues, so I very often end up alone in the surf with 20 boys, and let me tell you that, as much sh*t as they may give each other for dropping in or snaking, I very rarely get any of it. Quite the opposite, in fact. Boys spot waves they know I can catch and they block them for me to make sure I get a proper session. So much love in this town… Or hormones, should I say… Oh well…
4) Watching the boys surf the biggest waves I've ever seen in real life The past week has been incredible. The swell has finally come in and the waves are BIG, the size of 2 or 3 men. I've spent a lot of time nursing my various injuries whilst watching the locals and the gutsy Westerners get barreled. As boring as this may sound to anyone who's never surfed, it's gotta be seen at least once. With each wave caught, the crowd on the beach whoops and claps and cheers and with every slam, time stops and the crowd goes silent until the head of the surfer finally pops back up to the surface. Then everyone starts laughing with relief and gives the poor guy a lot of sh*t as he walks past us to go get some more.
1) Getting molested by a local It was 7pm in Arugam Bay and I had just had the awesomest day watching Israel get barreled. I was about 3 meters away from my guest house on a push bike in the dark singing Nelly Furtado's "I'm like a bird" when suddenly, a pair of hands grabbed my boobs. And when I say grab, I mean grab, as in, he wasn't letting go. I tried to look back but lost my balance and fell over, taking with me the Muslim tw*t who was on his bike and who had let go of his handle bar to molest me. I got up as fast as I could in total shock and looked down at the pervert stuck under both bikes. I called him every single possible name and kicked him as hard as I could until my friends came running out after hearing metal crashing and loud shrieking. Because my guest house is Hindu and the dude was Muslim, nothing could be done to him for fear of repercussion, so Muslim pervert went home and I cried. So no more walking or cycling in the dark by myself. Live and learn, live and learn…
2) Jason always being in my way when I go for a wave I kid you not, Jason has developed a sixth sense for when I'm about to catch a wave and he very often ends up sitting or lying or paddling or drowning right in front of me as I'm paddling for a wave. Obviously he's my friend and I like him and I would never risk slicing his leg open for 10 seconds of fun so I always stop and miss out on the best wave of my life. A few not-so-friendly words have been exchanged on the subject and some sulking has taken place and I have been accused of doing the same thing to him, though deep down I know I'm right and I'm sure he does too. And the reason I added this last sentence is because I know he's reading this and it will annoy him a lot and it will probably make him want to punch me, the same way he wanted to punch me when I kindly suggested, right at the beginning of the trip, that he should maybe consider trying to surf some white water before attempting real grown-up waves.
1) The infected wound on my finger What started off as a tiny scratch has now blossomed into a big, deep, nasty hole on the middle-finger of my right hand. To give you an idea of the approximate size of the hole, I have just successfully stuck two grains of rice in it. Just to see. I thought that would be a good measurement as everyone knows how big rice is.