So after nearly three years in Sri Lanka, it's time to leave.
No real plans, just handed in my notice and will work my last day for the British Council Sri Lanka on 1st July.
I have mixed feelings about going. This has been a great place for me, I've had a very comfortable life here, not having to worry about money for the 1st time in my life has been very nice. I've spent the last year or so as a senior teacher, so my career has progressed somewhat, which is nice.
The country itself is beautiful and sometimes when I'm sat on the beach with a beer, looking out at the amazing coastline, palm fringed beaches, deep blue green of the sea, I realise and remember how lucky I am to live in such a place. The plants and the trees here are stunning, and under-appreciated by the tourists and locals alike.
Things I haven't enjoyed: Traffic. Buddhism.
When faced with the decision; slow down / wait a few seconds or potentially kill at least one other person, it seems that 95% of drivers here will choose the latter not the former, which is why the second of the two things I haven't enjoyed is there. Respect for all life and compassion for others are central Buddhist tenets, but not here. Here the monks will cry and salivate for war and the death of a whole race of people, they will gather outside a TV station and throw rocks and petrol bombs because a pop star has a girl in a bikini dancing near a statue of the Buddha! in his video. Lots of things wrong with that obviously, 'a mob of angry, rock throwing monks' is not a lexical chunk I usually teach. The Buddha said that the worship of idols and statues was stupid, that rituals and ceremonies were stupid, that we should stop listening to others who think themselves wiser and in a position to tell others what to do, and start listening to ourselves and thinking for ourselves. None of that happens here. So they get angry because of semi-naked girl, without realising that the Buddha would probably laugh at the situation and them; why is there a statue of him (Buddha) in the first place? and why do you think its sacred? when he specifically told people not to do exactly that! Bonkers. Buddhists that do the exact opposite of what the Buddha believed and advised people to do!
Basically I'm sick to death of people trying to kill me too, with buses, landcruisers, tuc-tucs, trucks, cars etc on a daily basis, I'm ready to drag someone out of their vehicle and beat them to death, so it's time to leave.