Surf duds and tuk-tuks

Sarah & Stu’s Arugam adventures prt3

We went shopping for a motorbike today.A? $1000 will get us a brand new 100cc Honda. Now that sounds like a darn good deal to me.A? Ia??m pretty sure the equivalent in England would cost around double that.A? Theory is we buy a bike and save money on the taxi rides wea??re going to use over the next 11 months.A? Sarah has other ideas.A? She has her mind set on a tuk-tuk.A? A red one.A? Wea??d be able to move around the island with it, carrying all our junk, strap the boards on the roof and go on surfaris, pick up friends etc.A? It would definitely add a different dimension to the trip and it all makes perfect sense, but ita??s quite a lot more cash to stump up.A? Watch this space for who gets their way.

Ita??s been a pretty eventful last few days.A? Since last we wrote wea??ve surfed every day but one, when it was totally flat and met some interesting characters.A? More on that in a moment.A? First, we have taken the decision to close the restaurant here at Tsunami in the evenings.A? It followed an evening where we were embarrassingly stretched by six guests.A? As is the custom in Sri Lanka, if a customer walks into a restaurant and asks a??Do you have fresh fish?a?? the reply is always a??Yes of course.a??A? Now that isna??t always a totally accurate statement.A? So when two guests asked if we had fresh fish, earlier in the day, the boss of course nodded a??Yup, Red Snapper, freshly caught today!a??

So back the guests came a few hours later and brought their friends. Sarah and I thought wea??d earned the evening to ourselves, but two and a half hours later there was a familiar call of a??Setewa???? The food had only just been served.A? Two dishes were cold, the two mains that were served without rice also had no chicken in them, just gristle and bone.A? The spaghetti with garlic and olive oil was with raw garlic and vegetable oil and the fresh snapper was of course found out to be a frozen distant cousin.A? Much embarrassment.A? No paying of bill.A? No alternative but to call a bit of a summit with the boss and insist that we close the restaurant at sunset while we implement a new set menu of one dish only in the evenings and train the guys how to cook it.

Thata??s meant six evenings of cooking for around five or six people and training and gesturing in Singalish/Tamil.A? Arugam Bay can be a little, shall we say, short of ingredients too.A? So the homemade burgers have involved borrowing a mincer; the Mexican food, making our own wraps for fajitas and the barbeque, setting fire to coconut shells in which many hundreds of roaches have set up camp.

In the meantime our surfing goes on.A? This morning our tuk-tuk driver mercifully forgot to pick us up at 0515, so we enjoyed a snooze.A? Wea??ve been looking for some surf lessons, which has led us a merry dance around the bay.A? Wea??re starting to look like people that can surf rather than just wander around getting a tan with boards under our arms, but the plan is to get some more pointers from someone that knows how. I have to say ita??s amazing, when you ask around, just what a random assortment of people that could be.A? And I was surprised that the stereotyped stoned, blonde haired surfer wasna??t to be found among them. The first guy we encountered was I guess the closest to that.A? He was a Sri Lankan dude with a pony-tail and ok-ish English, but a vacant look and without the requisite sense of urgency.A? a??Well, you know if I find some other guys that are keen then, you know, I guess Ia??ll swing by your place and we can go outa??a?? Possibly he had more important things to do, so hea??s forgiven, but not hired.A? Then we asked at ABay Surf Shop, rated as an authority on all things stoke related in the Lonely Planet.A? After a wait of 20 minutes we were introduced to a toothless old fisherman who said we would be welcome to pay him 3000 rupees each for a daya??s surfing.A? R was closer to the mark, but is the brother of V and by association may have been eliminated too.A? We were put in touch with V by a reliable guy and I have to say V was sounding good for the first three quarters of an hour.A? He had some interesting things to say about catching the wave early and getting the turn in before you pick up any speed.A? And when he told us that he wanted to teach us for the love of surfing I was a little cynical, but wea??ve encountered many examples of Sri Lankan generosity in the past four weeks and it wasna??t totally unbelievable. A?He looked a little red and vacant around the eyes, so it wasna??t a big surprise when he pulled a little silver wrap out of his pocket and whispered conspiratorially that he enjoyed a little smoke.A? And then the contradictions about how much this would actually end up costing us began.A? a??Two thousand for the tuc-tuc.A? Too expensive cos youa??re staying here for a long time?A? Youa??re probably right, seeing that you have to pay me too. No problem.A? We could all get the bus with our boards.A? Or a fishing boat!! Or I could hire a tuc-tuc for the day and drive it myself.A? How much? Just recommend me to other people if youa??re happy with me, Ia??m not about the money, Ia??m all about the surfing.A? Shall we say tomorrow afternoon same time? No waves at the moment? No problemo! How much? Well maybe a hundred dollars?a??a??

And we seem to have found ourselves some more work.A? I contacted the Sri Lankan Surf Federation before we left and it seems they are in the early stages of inception, electing officials and such like.A? They also have the World Qualifying Series arriving in three weeks and the worlda??s media descending on Arugam Bay.A? The WQS is huge.A? One hundred and twenty five contesting surfers and their entourage, live telecast.A? I would imagine ita??ll be an enormous boost for the local economy and if it goes well, the chances are ita??ll come back next year.A? Probably worth thinking about preparations for it then? A?Not so far.

Posted 15 May 2010 by sarah in Uncategorized

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