Ghost Town Arugam Bay

Ghost Town Arugam Bay

I arrived in Arugam Bay thinking I was going to a epic surf town.

I thought it would be full of surfers, parties and beach bars.A? I

had forgot to factor in- low season (no surf), world wide

recessionA?(no money) and Sri Lankan civil war (death tends to keep

people away)A? These 3 factors made the place empty!A? I was

the only backpacker in town and the rest were NGOs.A?A? I

walked out to the surfing point and found a wave that rolled on forever

but since it was not the season it was no ridable.

I killed 2 days here wondering around talking

to people about the Tsunami.A? I was told the westA?side of the

island got very little money from the Tsunami relief fund since they

were all Tamils.A? The majority of the money went to the Sinhalese

people.A? I had dinner with about 6 different NGO organizations and

learned a ton about how they worked in Sri Lankan.A? They just

happened to be having a meeting/dinner where I was staying.A? It

was super interesting.

My second day I rented a

push bike and went off to explore a beach that was a couple kilometers

away.A? It was near lagoon called crocodile rock.A? I didn’t

see any crocs but I was followed around for hours by a gang of little

boys.A? These kidsA? both annoyed and entertained me.

They kept begging for pens, rupees and my sun glasses.A? They loved

having their photo taken and asking my name. Half perturbed and half

amused I told them my name was ” I hate beggars”A? I got them to

chantA? “I hate beggars” over and over while I filmed them.

After the filming they discovered the action kung fu shot (pretend

fight for the camera).A? ThisA? progressed to video kung fu

fights until I got tired of it all.A? I was continuously followed

around by curious people. That night while taking sunset photos on the

side of the road I had a cars and 2 bicycles pull over just to shake my


Arugam Bay has a internet cafe with

one computer in it.A? In order to charge my ipod I have to plug it

into a USB port.A? Since there was only one computer in town I had

to wait in line to do this. A? While I was waiting the man on the

computer started a conversation with me.A? Once he found out that I

was from the US he wanted me to become an adviser for a council

called…… The Welfare Association for the Poverty Stricken Masses of Arugam Bay.

I tried to tell him that I wasn’t really the man for the job but he was

convinced that since I was from the U.S I had alot of pull…. A? A

couple of weeks later I got an email from him with my name as an

Adviser for this council….So if anyone wants to raise some money for

school kids in Sri Lanka to have shoes contact me because I’m an adviser

and I know where the school is!

Since there was

no waves and nothing to do in Arguam Bay I decided to head back to the

side Sri Lanka where I knew there would be both.A? I caught a ride

to the bus station in cushy NGO land cruiser!A? On the bus I met 3

guys headed to Saudi Arabia. Many Sri Lankans get work visas and run

the grocery stores there.A? These guys were super nice and were

just happy to hang around with me.A? They ended up buying my

lunch and my bus tickets!A? I tried to pay but they

refused..A? Hospitality of this caliber was super common in Sri

Lanka.A? LOVE IT!

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