I have Started a list of the reasons i like living here
- The Constant Electricity and Water Supply
Electricity is widely available in the Country; not just for the Generator possessing few, but for most of the country. It’s very expensive if you use hot water and Air conditioning but otherwise affordable. I have learnt that some electronics consume more electricity than others, my bill has gone from 15,000 rupees to 2000 just by not having an AC, hot water from the tap and changing my refrigerator.
Water runs uninterrupted in taps; people that don’t have taps have fresh water wells nearby their homes. I noticed that unlike in Nigerian rural areas where we fetch water and take home to bathe, here the rural folk bathe, do the dishes and the laundry by the side of the well.
Woe betide you if you don’t pay your bills, they cut off you supply after a warning. Receiving a warning is considered very irresponsible so generally most people pays bills as soon as the pay check comes in.
- Sri Lankan Body Language
Beginning with what I will call the “SriLankan Head twist”; a delicate move of the head that is neither a nod nor a side to side movement, but somewhere in between.This head roll may mean anything from “OK”, “Maybe” or “Yes”. It is a contagious habit that I have also began notice myself do.
The unique “SriLankan Hello Smile”, which is sooo different from what, we do in Nigeria. The smile is a slow reciprocal gesture that one can find in shops, schools and other places strangers interact.
Here greeting is not compulsory or considered rude except in formal settings.
Ayubowan! “May you live long”, is the standard greeting, yet no one says it except you are about to spend your money...E.g. at supermarket checkout counters.
Usually once you caught the eye of the person you want to communicate with, you just proceed with the dialogue with no greetings preamble. Even elderly people who are strangers do not expect any elaborate greeting, respectful eye contact and a slight smile is all you need.
I have learned to discern between the innocent and not so innocent smiles. Some could mean
“I think you are interesting” this could come from a person who is just passing by, and happens to make eye contact. Some smiles could mean “I think you are cute”, this I return with a rude glare that clearly says “back off, I’m not available” or in the rare occasion where the guy is actually cute too I pretend I don’t notice by simply looking away.
- MD Gunasena, Sarasavi and Secondhand Bookshops
I have enjoyed reading a lot of books recently and discovered lots of writers, though lately i have curtailled my cumpulsion to buy books. I spend hours in bookshops or the British Council Library, i find it therapeutic.
I have even volunteered to inventory a school library, i really enjoy being around books and i feel really bad when i see books illused or disarranged. I wonder if i was a librarian in another life time....
Just before leaving Abuja, New Metro opened in the heart of the city, it was my favourite place in Abuja, though very expensive. Here you find a wide range of prices. There are quite a few publishing houses here, many translate popular world literature in the Native languages Sinhala and Tamil.
- Food and Fruits
I remember the first time i tasted Srilankan food almost ten years ago now, i fell in love with it immediately. Coming here i gained 10Kg in one year due to the side effects of medication i am taking and , my love for the spicey food. I miss yam alot, Heck i dream about yam alot...but i enjoy the variety of Vegetables and rice they have here.
Rice is the staple food here and there are several different kinds, my favourite is the red rice i remember searching everywhere in Nigeria for it those days.
Fruits are not soo cheap, especially bananas and papaya. But when in season mangoes, mangosteen, pineapple are sooo tasty.