Final day involves getting up late again. A habitual breakfast of roti and wood apple lassi. The woman at the food corner seems amazed at this request, telling me that wood apple doesn’t taste nice. She is wrong. Mahesh has a new business idea, and I’m wracking my brains to help him come up with a name and to find a way for him to market himself. Right now he stands behind a coloured umbrella and some tatty boards, meekly saying hi to the scant passerby.
I have a coconut, from the keep the doctor away stall. They have orange ones here, and green. Taste is the same. A dip in these a. It’s overcast, the water slightly cooler. A nice float. I walk to the other end of the bay. It’s here that the surfers hang out. I watch a long haired Sri Lankan with a bob Marley board ride the waves then paddle in. A posse of Japanese with a collection of cameras with long lenses photograph from the grubby scrub of the shore.
I return to poppies for a shower and a doze in the hammock.
My last jaunt to the beach coincides with rain.i take shelter at a reggae themed bar and have a couple of piña coladas made from fresh pineapple and coconut, meanwhile reading Ondaatje’s anil’s ghost. A story of an expat Sri Lankan forensic scientist returning home on a humanitarian mission, which results in the discovery of a re-buried skeleton, evidently the victim of a political killing. The book begins to uncover some of this country’s very murky past.
I spend my last night with mahesh talking through the next venture he has, ie whale watching on his friend’s boat. I create a Facebook page for him show him how to build a network, create an email template. I always seem to be at work!
I manage to wake up at a reasonable hour, with the sunrise annoyingly on my face.
I buy roti from a place I went to last night. The same old guy is there, with his half a mouth of teeth and his purple sarong. His eyes are less bloodshot than last night. Today he doesn’t ask me if I want any weed. Anyway we chat and ai take his photo. He wants me to send it to him and become my pen friend! His name is angas, 64 ( though I’m not sure about this as his English comprehension ain’t so good), dead wife, and works with his friends at the best roti house in town,he says.
Another wood apple lassi, and it politely refuse a throng of tuk tuk drivers who want to take me to Matara. I stick to my guns and wait for a bus with a Dutch couple. Several sweep past, horns blazing, conductors hanging off the footplate, passengers hanging out of the rear door. Too full to stop. After 10 mins a weligama bus stops and takes us to Matara.
Matara bus station is not very easy to navigate, but at least not full of touts. I find the bus….