Unlike my last time in Sri Lanka when I’d stayed in hostels, this time around I would be staying in a little self-contained flat. Although hostels are cheap places to stay if you’re travelling, their rates are still much higher than local prices; after all, white people do sweat money – or so I’m told.
Whilst in England I tried to find a place to stay in Colombo by
doing internet searches, but my results yielded little more than holiday flats which charged upwards of £600 a month. That was even higher than I used to pay back home. On the rare occasion when I came across the odd local room advertised they always specified girls of Tamil heritage, my White Walker complexion just wouldn’t pass. Luckily for me I had the best contacts: Anya and Mihiri were on the case.
A few streets round the corner from their own home, my Dream Team had found a cute, rustic little annexe. It was situated on a quiet little road surrounded by a lovely garden, and consisted of 2 rooms separated by a curtain. A dining room/ kitchen area with a fridge and a single gas hob contraption and a bedroom with my own bathroom attached. I was super excited to find that the shower curtain was a map of the world, i’d been meaning to improve my geography for a while. I’d be staying during the hottest part of the year (33 – 40 degrees with an average humidity of 90%) and had only a rickety ceiling fan to fight off the inevitable puddle I was sure to melt into. I was going to miss the luxury of air con but at least I could cook my own dinner, have peace and quiet and watch the local birds as I worked; swings and roundabouts as ‘they’ say.
The owner of the house the annexe was attached to was a lovely older lady called Sanjeewani, and when I arrived late on Tuesday I found that she’d kindly provided tea, milk and some cereal for the morning. The next day, as I was pottering around, she came by with a fresh papaya and appeared again at 1pm to see if I’d like some of the lunch she was cooking. Even if I’d filled my fridge full of food there was no way I was going to turn down a home- cooked Sri Lankan lunch. Even after I’d been out and done a food shop, she popped by in the evening with some delicious cakey/tart thingies –I think I’m going to like it here.