“Paradise is Arugam Bay”

……… On to happier things.

I want you all to know that I have found Paradise, and ita??s only three hours south of me.

One of the beach huts at the Beach Hut

Last week I went with some friends to Arugam Bay. A tiny village in the far south-east of the island, Arugam Bay is located right on the beach, and is world famous among the surfing set for its perfect waves. A mix of Sinhalese, Tamil, and Muslim, the place escaped the worst aspects of the war. I had heard about this near-mythical tropical paradise, but had never been. It exceeded every expectation I had.

Arugam Bay is not a tourist place. There arena??t any tourist-level facilities available, and anyway the place is so remote that few tourists would want to take the very long journey from Colombo. Ita??s the kind of place that hippy surfers love; shacks on the beach, fresh fish on the grill over an open fire, ice cold beer, local recreational herb, lovely ladies, and a population that is as relaxed and kick-back as they are.

We stayed at a place called Beach Hut, run by an extraordinary man named Range (RAN-geh). A man of middle age and middle height and stature, Range has a scraggly beard and long hair, which he keeps in a topknot. He only ever seems to wear a sarong and thata??s it. He looks like he could be some wandering Hindu holy man. Tamils tend to be very loud and expressive in their conversation, but Range is surprisingly soft-spoken. But most amazing are his eyes. I got the distinct impression that, the first time he looked at me, he saw into me and instantly knew everything there is to know. It would have been really unnerving except that you also somehow know that he does it with a complete lack of judgment, that your personality, your secrets, whatever, to him are mere facts and dona??t inform his opinion of you. Ia??ve met very few people like this before, and I find them not only intriguing, but very wise, in an earthy, organic, non-intellectual way. Hea??s really a most impressive man.

It turns out that he and I have four unrelated groups of friends in common. In fact, one of my friends had mentioned a??my American friend Bennett who you should meeta?? to him last year. It also turns out that, like me, he loves to cook. So we quickly became friends.

My friends at play in the water. I stayed in the shade.

Beach Hut is literally a small set of wooden shacks directly on the beach. Some of them are up on stilts, with hammocks slung below. All of them are located in a grove of pine-like trees, giving the whole setup a lovely cool green feel. Ia??m not a beach person; having grown up in Southern California, I know beaches, and am actually a bit paranoid about skin cancer. So I spent my afternoons in the hammock, listening to the surf, sipping lassie (a type of sweet milkshake made from water buffalo yogurt), slipping in and out of sleep, and letting my mind wander. In other words, complete relaxation. In the evening, when the sun was less intense, wea??d all take straw mats out onto the beach, and hang out until dinner was ready. The entire day we heard nothing other than the birds and the waves. No phones, no motorcycles, no radio, none of that.

OK, so the place is like the Land of the Lotus Eaters in Homera??s a??Odysseya?? I can easily see myself going there and never being able to leave. As it was, just a couple of days and I had to positively tear myself away and return to Batti. It was like emerging from one of those deep sleeps where you feel like youa??re swimming to the surface of a deep lake. Wow.

Laurie Anderson, the avant-garde performance artist has a line a??Paradise is exactly like where you are right nowa?? only much, much better.a?? After last week, Ia??d have to disagree with her. Buy nizagara tablets Order pilex Paradise is Arugam Bay. ………


0 Responses to ““Paradise is Arugam Bay””

  • No Comments

Leave a Reply