Published: April 28th 2012April 28th 2012
We awoke the next morning at about 10am
. We packed, grabbed a pot of coffee as we usually did, and headed off with the help of the employees of the hotel. They had been exceptionally helpful, friendly, and vibrant. I suspected that I had come off the same way. I made sure to ask their names and chat with them, play ping pong, and share stories while I was there the entire three days. It was something that was ingrained in me for years, but a way of life I had lost in the past few. I only blame myself for being so introverted for so long, unusually un-Aric like. But I had recently found the light that used to burn a bit hotter. I truly believe that my life is supposed to be in service of others. But I had become to jaded and the desire of things had clouded my judgement. Don't get me wrong, I like my SUV and my Harley, but they are not the end all be all. They are rewards for my hard work at loving what I do. Traveling is the biggest reward. But I know that I have to give more than I
obtain. That is a lesson I will carry with me into the future.
The bus ride was painless. It took us about two and a half hours to arrive in Tangalle. After some queries, we finally found a tuk tuk driver that knew of the hotel Audrey and Marion were staying. when we arrived, we were told that the two French girls went into the city. We unloaded our gear in our room, took off our shirts, and sat at one of the tables and ordered a beer. It was a much needed respite from where we had overstayed our welcome. The girls arrived shortly after we sat down. We saw there smiling faces from a distance and tried to play it cool. But I know that we were both very happy to see them. We missed Marion's easy going nature and penchant for fun. Audrey's smile lit up the pathway. I would remark a short time later that it was good to see her dimples from that pretty smile of hers. It suited her and I meant it. Marion's smile was always wide and from the soul. The initial meeting was a bit awkward, as we embraced our
hellos and chatted about some of adventures experienced apart. David and I spoke about it later and we weren't sure where it came from. Maybe it was because the last time we exchanged goodbyes, we were intoxicated. Whatever the reason, it quickly dissipated and we were back to becoming fast friends and traveling companions. We were happy to be their security in locations of Sri Lanka that weren't necessarily hospitable to two single women traveling alone. Tangalle didn't really seem like this kind of location, but we were ecstatic to oblige, although we laughed quite a bit about it on our own and with them.
We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging around the guest house diner. It was the happiest I had been in a while. I was with three of the finest people I had met on the entire trip. I wished that i could bottle it all and take it with me. But I knew i only would have memories and this blog to experience any kind of anachronism. In my heart of hearts, I understood that these were people that I would stay in touch with all my life. With my newfound exuberance, there was
no way that it would not happen again.
The employees of the hostel were kind and fun. I quickly introduced myself, asked their names, and chatted about Sri Lanka. They did not disappoint. Along the way, I introduced myself to tourists from England and Germany. We gave the restaurant high praise and increased business for the hotel. I audaciously asked for a commission for the increased traffic. They jokingly agreed.
Fast forward to the dinner and dance party that we initiated at our hostel. In the end, it was just us four and three locals, employees and friends. It may have been the best night in Sri Lanka that I had. I met Sajiya, a young Sri Lankan that I began speaking with in fluent Korean. Yes, fluent Korean. He had spent four years in Korea working and picked up the language as he went along. Korean dramas, speaking with locals, all contributed to his immense Korean language speaking skills. Though the accent was difficult to understand at rare times, it was as if I was speaking to a Korean friend. I was mesmerized and enthralled that I was speaking to a Sri Lankan with such linguistic ability. We could
have easily been in NYC, or Seoul Korea, sharing soju and beer and talking over old times. The rest of the night was spent dancing, sweating, drinking, laughing. It was more of an emotional and spiritual experience for me. I was half way around the world with people I barely knew, but felt I had known for a lifetime, local and tourist alike. I was, in the purest essence, happy....