Friday, May 18, 2012

S(or)ri(e), Lanka

'I'm no psychologist sir, but maybe the bleak, lonely, pointless emptiness of our hopeless, futile predicament is beginning to get to him'
- Kryten, Red Dwarf

Sorry Sri Lankans, I might have been a bit unfair to you in the last couple of posts. The good news is, I've now had encounters with a few locals who haven't been primarily concerned with trying to rip me off - like my friendly guest house owner and inquisitive street urchins - so I don't have to create a YouTube account and spam every pleasant Sri Lanka video I come across with groundless racist abuse.

Colombo may have reminded me of Manila (and must therefore never be spoken of again), but away from the city, this country has reminded me most of my first week in Bali, when I stayed at a similarly middle-of-nowhere place and might have been in the most relaxed state of mind I've experienced at any point over the last year. Or maybe it just seemed that way in contrast to the extreme stress of my first few days there, which might have been the greatest anxiety I've experienced since I started travelling. Whichever, the same thing has happened in Sri Lanka, and by Day Four I feel a lot more relaxed and ready to enjoy this place and its friendly/irritating people.

There were some important cricket events going on during my visit, which I enjoyed telling people I didn't come here to see.

The same enjoyment I'd get when people regularly assumed I was in Korea to teach English, and I could blow their minds by telling them I was here as a tourist

I'm also probably more prone to complaining because I'm quite agitated, restless and confused these days, not really knowing what to do with myself or where to go, primarily being propelled around the globe by whims and mood swings. I'm still happy to be wandering around and doing my freelance writing and compulsive blogging, but I'm often lacking in inspiration or just not in the mood. See: Japan.

This surely won't be news to you, if you've read anything I've written over the past 20 months, but maybe I expected something to have changed by now. Maybe by lowering these impossible standards I can be content with this extremely privileged life that I'm going to look back on in a few years with envious contempt.

It can be very easy to forget the bad times, especially when I trick myself by summing up a month of discomfort in a country with a load of monkey or turtle photos. At least by writing angry, cynical blogs I can improve my chances of actually learning from experience next time, rather than forgetting all the things that weren't so great for me about South Asia last time. Maybe I shouldn't have come back here.

My accommodation came with a friendly neighbourhood star tortoise.
Maybe I just need a pet?

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