So originally I said I was going to make this a weekly thing… A little bold on my part. Nevertheless after the positive response I received from everyone apart from mum and dad, who both questioned the authenticity of my first post, I’m going to try and put in a repeat performance.
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom” – Thomas Jefferson
First and foremost I need to make one thing clear. Everything that I write on this blog, is my own opinion at 22 years of age. I don’t want to jeopardize the company I work for or be deported from the country. However, I’ve already realized that writing honestly from things I’ve seen, experienced or thought is a lot easier than bending the truth to maintain political correctness. Therefore as this will apparently be in cyber space for the rest of time, when I upload pictures of me wearing women’s underwear, snorting cocaine off a prostitutes chest, it cannot reemerge in ten years time when I’m working for the United Nations! Cheeers…
Tri Lanka and Ambokka Estate
I spent the bulk of week 2 in and around Colombo. I attended meetings with new faces in some rather nice hotels. My decision to bring only two shirts has backed fired already, wearing the same poker-dot shirt every other day with the same people is hard to disguise. Since, I have doubled my shirt collection.
Nomadic are currently carrying out a few different projects. So while we wait for the tourist board to let us progress with construction in Yala I’ve been brought into the initial schematic design for Ambokka Estate and snagging Tri Lanka, which is very nearly finished. Both projects are trying to establish themselves as high end yoga retreats so visiting the site at Tri has illustrated the quality of works we are trying to achieve. From green roofs made of egg crates, to the Cinnamon Water Tower, the blending of structures and landscapes is what Nomadic is establishing itself for doing well.
Sweating in the sea
On my second weekend I thought it was about time to get out the city and go for a surf. After all, it is the reason I came to Sri Lanka. My intention was to get to Galle, an 80 minute bus journey down the Chinese built Southern Expressway. As I hopped on the coach, the assuring head wobble from the driver and his first mate led me to believe I was on the right vehicle. 2 hours into the journey, I had my doubts… I arrived at the southern fishing town of Matarra. A change of plan was needed. So after another 45 minute bus journey back up the coast I reached Welligama. This is a renowned surf spot in Southern Sri Lanka. Looking out across the bay the waves looked bliss. There were a few heads bobbing in the surf, so I was eager to grab a board and paddle out. It was a battle to get ‘out back’, but on arriving I was greeted by the most fantastic sunset. The spray from the waves creating a rainbow in the sky as the Sun dipped behind the headland. This was why I came to Sri Lanka.
It was the first time I’ve ever sweated in the sea. The water temperature averages 27 degrees all year round and I was knackered. Then out of nowhere, two dolphin like lady surfers appeared. Through the hustle and bustle of local guys and travelers, these two girls came scouring the surf, cruising on waves cutting the line up into pieces. Guys scrambled for waves to show off their skills. Sadly my ‘tekkers’ are minimal. I just floated there like a piece of flotsam with snot dribbling from my nose. I tried paddling on to a wave, but dolphin 1 had beaten me to it. A quick recalculation was needed to avoid catastrophe and social embarrassment. I thought I executed the maneuver of falling backwards off my board quite well… Then like all dolphins do, they vanished as quickly as they’d appeared. I’ve decided I need to get better at surfing, to avoid injuring any dolphins!
Back on the shore I started chatting to a group of five Sri Lankan guys. Aged 20-24. Some of them could speak pretty good English, a language they’ve acquired from flirting with tourists on the beach. Three of them were surf instructors and rented boards, the other two were fishermen. They spend pretty much everyday at the beach, teaching girls how to surf… Not bad ey. As I need a translator for the project in Yala I asked if any of them would be interested in moving down the coast. Their response was quite surprising. They said that if they were to work on the project, they would put themselves and the project at risk. The locals in Yala apparently would get super riled and aggressive as they they had come and taken ‘their’ jobs. That’s crazy I thought. They’re the same age as me, just going to work in another town for a few months. Its a pretty tribal mentality.
How many people do I know in the UK that have up and left to work in London, Manchester or Bristol and been faced with local haters? Only a few…