First time for everything

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It’s taken me a few days to attempt to be present here in Sri Lanka. The time difference between Sri Lanka and the east coast of Australia is about five and a half hours so my home town is ahead of me. I arrived at about 3:30am on Saturday morning.

It’s taken me 48 hours to realise just what I have done. I have become rootless, adapting to an environment that is both foreign and beautiful. So just what am I doing here? I am here to talk with guests, get to know what people need and teach them yoga and treat the ailments and conditions that they arrive with, swelling, back pain, bodily aches and pains, fatigue, ennui and exhaustion.

I started my day with a swim and walk on the beach, and noticed the men cleaning the beach. Apparently India dumps its medical waste into the ocean and a lot of it ends up on beaches here. Croatia and Sweden have forbidden ocean disposal of waste. Yes ocean dumping is a short term solution to waste disposal but often third world countries pay the price and in the long run our children will pay a huge cost.

I have a lovely room, and the food is incredible though I am craving green and today finally managed to ferret out a salad with some sort of green leaf and made a dressing watched by the entire cook staff. I put in oil, not sure what sort, turmeric, for inflammation and taste, salt, pepper and lime juice. I added thin slices of capsicum, cut with a blunt knife, asked for another still blunt and resolved to sharpen a few cutting knives, thin slices are hard to do with blunt knives.

This salad I served with a fish curry, sorted. The staff watched, the concept of a green salad being foreign to them unless its as a puree in a rice soup, congee, used as an Ayurvedic medicine. I had green congee for breakfast, strange with my cuppa. Now there’s another saga. You may be aware of how much I hate, yes hate tea bags. I get it, they are convenient and easy to dispose of, but the cup of tea they render is crap. In the 1950’s 90% of tea was sold loose, today 90% of tea is sold as tea bags. Call me old fashioned but in the largest tea producing nation in the world you’d reckon the tea bag would be less prevalent, though the Indians and Sri Lankans are no different to us they love convenience and embrace trends that offer easy solutions, like dumping waste in the ocean. Not a fan.

The staff gathered, giggling and looking askance as I mimed and gestured my way through the making of tea in a pot and the assembling of a salad. I like it here, when you come and visit I promise you salad and loose leaf cuppas, walks on a clean beach, boats to take you whale and dolphin watching and beautiful accommodation. I’m being a Madam, madam likes this and madam likes that kinda girl. I was brought up in India so I feel quite at home here. I do miss you all though…being a stranger in a strange land is all very well. Being away from my family and friends is hard, but the reinvention I am going through in my health and work practices is worth the effort…

As I sat eating dinner last night, soaked to the skin by a sudden downpour. I thought of the evening I’d just had on the beach, guitar, singers, fireworks and sudden dollops of rain and hilarious scamper to shelter as the fireworks got damp and the thunder and lightening rolled out. My first rain, my first fireworks here. So many firsts, its good to be new…

One thought on “First time for everything

  1. It’s good to be new… it’s good to be YOU. Thank you for sharing these daily adventures… I’m right there with you (all these times you’ve been calling in for tea at my house and I never knew you were not a fan!). So glad you can be the Madam in your new environment.. you whoooooo. We miss you too though this new adventure already sounds like it was the best thing you’ve done in many years… sending love from sunny 20 degrees Balmain xo

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