Arugambay: Band of brothers

Surf at Arugam BaySwell at Arugam BayArugam Bay Sunset

I like the company of men as much as the next man, but it dawned on me after a few weeks that I do miss the softness, beauty, wisdom, care and openness of female companyA?a??A?

Why donA?a??a??t women surf? Well, of course they do, but not in the numbers that men do, and there certainly arenA?a??a??t many hereA?a??A? in fact thereA?a??a??s only 1 Japanese woman who is surfing here, and the only other females IA?a??a??ve met are Mel, Rosie and Flora who were all here with surfing boyfriends. In fact the same was true of Bali when I was there unless you were in Kuta with itA?a??a??s A?a??E?resortA?a??a?? facilities A?a??a?? beaches, bars, restaurants, shops etc. A?a??a?? the female count was disturbingly low. I know women are different, but why isnA?a??a??t there a comparable urge to surf between the sexes? So hereA?a??a??s the theory IA?a??a??ve come up with: Women are more naturally connected to their Self and are less driven by their ego therefore they donA?a??a??t have the physical urge that men do to find complex ways of suppressing the ego to glimpse that true inner self by surfing or engaging in other A?a??E?danger sportsA?a??a??A?a??A? still theyA?a??a??re missing out, and so are we!

As many travellers in Arugam Bay have gravitated to SooriyaA?a??a??s for RamA?a??a??s hospitality and culinary skills the evenings are spent round a communal table, playing cards, eating, drinking, smoking, and telling stories & jokesA?a??A? which is all well and good but some of these young men are here to party aswell as to surf an getting desperate to just see a woman. My needs arenA?a??a??t quite so primal as my intention for this trip was more as a retreat than a rave but A-Bay is beginning to seem like borstal-with-a-view but with more beer, surf and better food.

IA?a??a??ve learnt to exist well in these testosterone fuelled environments from my school days but IA?a??a??m not entirely comfortable . As evenings progress and otherwise decent aussies show their deep seated bigotism and racism A?a??a?? I havenA?a??a??t met an Australian man who isnA?a??a??t racist yet A?a??a?? IA?a??a??m disappointed to find most others at the table laugh and join in with the A?a??A?abboA?a??A? jokes, except perhaps Panu, a warm and gentle Finnish man. It must be born of ignorance over contemplation because on every other level I really get on with these people.
As we all get to know each other better the sessions at the point are getting more and more convivial. The brotherly concept of surfers calling us A?a??E?tryersA?a??a?? into makeable waves and pulling out of waves to let us get the tail end is a beautiful thing. Whoops go up when a good wave is ridden and thereA?a??a??s genuine shared joy as the learners improve.

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