Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'm Still Here

I was having a personal crisis this past couple of weeks. I was seriously thinking of leaving, but I've decided to stick it out, at least a bit longer.

Part of the problem was financial. The official numbers say that inflation was 22 percent last year (unofficially some economists are saying it was actually 24-25 percent) and it feels like everyone expects me (or the foreigner) to make up the difference. Add to this the U.S. government actually saying we should avoid public transport -- my monthly allowance was not quite reaching.

Then I was feeling under appreciated at work. I don't really blame my coworkers for this, I just felt like I wasn't really contributing as much as I'm capable.

Anyway, the financial concerns were abated this week (somewhat) and apparently, I am actually contributing at work (who knew), so crisis averted.

Then, as part of my taking-control-of-my-life-and-making-myself-happier scheme, I headed to Tangalle for the weekend. Friday I hitched a ride with a coworker who travels back and forth from Galle a lot. I lucked out and caught another ride to Matara. Strangely to travel the 20 km between Matara and Galle it takes two hours by tuk. I was warned of this, but I did not believe it. Well, it is true.

Now I'm sort of stuck. Not that I'm complaining. I can't seem to arrange transport back up to Colombo until Thurs. I did not plan to stay this long, but I can not bring myself to get on a bus (especially since I had to carry my computer down here to finish some work over the weekend -- this means I have more than just a bag and that is difficult to negotiate on the public buses here). So see, I really am trying to avoid public buses, if only really for comfort reasons.

In case you all think I'm just taking a week to lay on the beach, I am actually working. Today I'm at the office of Adopt Sri Lanka using their DSL line. Over the weekend I was using a local guest house's very poor connection to finish this concept paper for the EU.

That said, I did enjoy some quality time beach and pool side. It is really lovely here; so quiet and peaceful. Lisa (my host) stays at this nice guest house in Tangalle and has connections with a German guest house nearby who let us use their pool and provide us with apple pancakes (German style!). The mornings are spent over coffee and a bowl of fresh fruit. Afternoons consist of swimming (until today) and pancakes, fresh juice, milkshakes and Sri Lankan noodles. Our days do not stick to any particular schedule and food and swimming play large parts.

So now I'm a bit more relaxed. When I have days like this I realize staying is worth it. Even if I don't actually accomplish anything here, I am meeting some interesting people and occasionally I have a good time.

1 comment:

TinyLF said...

Actually, when it gets a bit unrewarding at work, as it invariably does, I always think it's a good idea to get away. I've been thinking about fleeing down south for a while now, but don't seem to manage it.

Ideally, 'getting away' should anyway involve a wee bit of work too while enjoying the other benefits of being a/outside Colombo, and b/by the beach. So good stuff.

Maybe, I'll follow in your footsteps and get down to Tangalle or somewhere near there. :) And yeah, best to stay off the buses.