A small finishing village at the south-west corner of Sri Lanka.
The time has stopped here. For many.
The same boats have been used for hundreds of years. Long and thin, with the additional buoyancy on the left of the cockpit.
Small houses, build from the random stuff, bearly withstand the strong winds.
The food in local eateries very simple, pancakes with egg and sour cakes with the vegetables. And fruits, sweet and juicy.
There is a road running through the middle of the village, always busy, always living, full of traffic.
Walkers, bikes, scooters, motorbikes, cars, trucks and buses, all day, all night. And the dogs, big and small, stray but very friendly.
There is only one rule on the road, the priority has a bigger and louder.
You would say that the accident is waiting to happen, but somehow everything goes smoothly, without the problems.
The tourist from Europe is like a black swan in winter, tall, wearing high-street African explorer clothes, with the Canon camera on the neck. He looks like from the different planet.
Only one smile is needed to break the ice with the local shop owner, who, in next couple of minutes, will ask about my name and nationally. We have different skin colour, different education, and experience but we are the same. We breathe the same dirty air and swim in the same salty ocean water. We both love, smile, sleep when tired, eat when thirsty and drink we happy and when sad. We live.
But very soon I will go back to mine western, high tech city, with all the amenities and the fast hi-fi, designer shops, rat race and I will dream of coming back to this calm and stress-free life. And he? I don’t know, I don’t understand Sinhala. But he smiles and looks happy. I order another rotti and the bottle of still water.


Leszek Stelmachowski

Triathlete. Ironman Coach. Co-Owner & Personal Trainer of Fitness Soul. Life Lover. My passion is to help you become better, healthier and fitter!

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