Another Day in our Sri Lankan Life

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 18:41 (UTC+0530)

In the morning, with a mug of steaming coffee, I was trying to fix this blog (whose code I had hastily written before running off to Australia in June). It's amazing how fast the gears get rusty. I'm talking about the mental gears.

Arriving at the gym later than usual I found it hotter inside and more busy, and tried to ignore all this as I practiced reciting numbers in Sinhala as I did leg presses and sit ups. After an hour, dripping with sweat, I paid a visit to several shops on the way to the tuk tuk queue: I got vegetables, a bungie cord, and priced printer paper. Near the end of the line of tuk tuks I saw the familiar face of Rashmika, a cheeky driver who zipped me home, and along the way we talked about getting me a used motorbike.

Back to work at home, doing some dishes, reading the news, and after noon I retired for a quick nap, but it was interrupted by the young shrieking neighbor kid. So I got up again and sat in the front room, gazing out at the jungle clad hills, and pondered how to begin my Big Project: organizing years of photos and journals into some kind of enjoyable collection and written stories.

Finally Karen came buzzing home in a tuk tuk and, once inside and changed into more comfortable clothes, gave me her daily "podcast" of the frustrations and triumphs of her teacher training job. It seems most of the problems stem from the administration and the ministry of education. She always glows about the trainees.

The skies darkened and the daily deluge began, really hammering down today, with near miss lightnings, and water leaked a bit through several spots in the ceiling. We saw a creeping spider the size of a child's hand and I shooed it out a window.

Karen needed to go to the railway station a mile away and it was just turning dark and was still raining heavily but our dependable driver friend Sampath came up to fetch her and said the road below was an impassable lake. They set off and I was able to follow their position on Google Maps from the dry comfort of home. She met a trainee who was arriving by train, brought her to the school dormitory, and even managed to do a bit of shopping on the way back.

On returning here Sampath noticed there was a minor land slide just above and over from our house. Several neighbors were out with umbrellas checking it out, concerned that it might happen on a larger scale. We decided our house is not likely in danger.

As Karen cooked the dinner tonight I struggled to get an old printer she had been given connected to an equally old, slow laptop. For how many decades now have we fought to get printers to work? For a species that can get to the Moon and land a rover on an asteroid, it doesn't seem it should be so hard, does it? I finally gave up in frustration and put myself to bed early.


Jim Wiggins

in Peradeniya, Sri Lanka