We’re starting to get into a bit of a rhythm here in Galle, the kids are at school, and are picked up every morning by a local tuk tuk driver, Mahani has joined the leisure club of a very fancy hotel on a beautiful peninsula where she can swim and gym and coffee her mornings away in style, and I have bought a bike for my daily commute to work.
We are getting better at outdoor living: mossie bites are less frequent than they were, we only had 2 food jars ruined by ants this week and the boys can now recognise and remove frog spawn from the pool. A mouse who made it into all our kitchen drawers has been deterred with cardboard and sticky tape and the fridge seems to be working again after a few days off.
We have a gorgeous bright blue kingfisher who swims in the pool every morning and we have hosted cricket for the local kids in the front yard.
The sermons and call to prayer from the local mosque are now just part of our day and give a very communal aural backdrop to this Muslim neighbourhood we live in. The only thing that we haven’t really got comfortable with are the roads.
Roads here are multiuse- there are no footpaths, so they are for pedestrians, doing business on, parking your truck, tuk tuk or motorbike, sleeping if you are a dog, fixing your vehicle, playing cricket etc…all of which would be fine if they weren’t also for crazy buses, tuk Tuks and motorbikes hurtling at breakneck speed and bicycles.
This week 6 army guys were electrocuted when a high voltage cable fell on their van on a main road near us…apparently a squirrel was the culprit. Every day at work I see horrible injuries from unprotected road users being struck.
On Wednesday after work, I rode my bike with my surfboard to the local beach. Getting there was OK…only a few near misses…I then had a lovely late arvo surf with lots of locals, palm trees in the background and some fun 3 ft waves. Hani and the kids met me there and we had dinner at a cheap beach take away, and then it was time to ride home.
Things not do in Sri Lanka …ride in the dark.. Nightmare. Imagine the busiest road you can , add buses, cars, tuk tuks, bikes dogs, pedestrians, potholes, road signs, cats, rats and puddles and then attempt to negotiate on a bike. In the pitch black. Dogs, pedestrians, other bikes, old ladies with umbrellas; do not give an inch…there is no concept of give way …to avoid these obstacles, you need to swing out into the traffic, here you are fair game for everyone else. At one stage I needed to cross the road to get home. After 10 minutes of nervous waiting a bus turned across the road..it temporarily blocked both lanes, so taking my chance I ran out in front of it , and using it as a shield, managed to get across. Lesson learnt. No bike riding at night.
I’ll Go Pro my morning work commute soon and post to give you a sense of the fun/chaos!