Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

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Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

Boobs In My Face and A Romantic Dining Space

Romantic candlelight dinner from August 2012

If ever we had experienced overcrowding in public transportation, nothing could have compared to the buses in Sri Lanka. Every available space on the floor of the steel, rusted beast was occupied with either a foot or bag of goods. The sweltering heat had become less than welcome as we sat smashed into the small seats, looking forward to every moment the bus began trudging down the road after stopping briefly to accommodate another eager passenger pushing their way up the stairs of the bus and sliding through the crowd spilling into the aisle. It became nearly impossible not to appreciate the patient nature of the locals allowing others to share intimately personal space to prevent waiting for the next bus racing down the road. An untimely bump in the road paired with a woman shifting her weight while standing next to me landed her floppy breast on my face on more than one occasion.1-IMG_5795

Eventually we neared the town of Arugam Bay, a popular destinations for those fortunate enough to visit the incredibly friendly country. Less than five minutes from the heart of town, the rear driver’s side of the bus dipped immediately in response to the loud, bursting sound of a tire exploding under the overloaded cargo. We followed the passengers from the bus to the side of the road, luckily near a local mechanic. The few other tourists on the bus were convinced by tuk-tuk drivers the bus wouldn’t be ready to leave for hours. As persistent as they were, we had become quite experienced throughout our travels. We observed the locals from the interior of the bus waiting patiently, not a single spectator seizing the opportunity to abandon the replacement of a blown tire.

Within fifteen minutes the efficient men had swapped out the tire for a new one, allowing us to continue our journey. Amazingly enough we arrived in town only minutes after those gullible enough to trust the local drivers taking advantage of the situation. A short walk would provide us with the rewarding experience of sleeping at a local guesthouse owned and operated by an incredible chef, a man who had actually worked and found success in the US. Needless to say, after our first dinner that night we were compelled to continue enjoying the fruits of his labor. The love we had developed for the food in this unfamiliar country intensified with the gratitude of every bite.

We awoke the following morning to the sound of our fan winding down in the early hours around sunrise. The government, so we were informed, had ceased all electricity to the province, demonstrating the social divide still present in Sri Lanka. As if we required an excuse, it was the perfect reason for heading straight to the beach following breakfast. Our feet sunk into the warm sand as we looked around the small bay, attempting to grasp the vastness of the ocean beyond. A short stroll lead us to the main hangout where other travelers had already begun gathering to enjoy the sun and observe those skilled enough to surf the breaks in the tide dangerously close to the rocks.1-IMG_5810

Local fisherman began returning from their early morning departure, beaching the bows of their boats as high as possible onto the bank. A slight sand bar prevented them from escaping the power of the ocean current completely and reaching their usual anchoring points in a large tide pool. With the tide at its lowest point of the day, the men were forced to push their heavy, solid wood boats over the embankment and into the still water. My human compassion urged me to assist as I witnessed the wiry, surprisingly strong men heaving the boat from the water to no avail. I handed Jessie my shirt and our water bottle, offering my strength to the men as various other travelers followed suit.

With about fifteen feet of inclining sand preventing us from our goal, each six inch heave seemed absolutely futile. Our first push had served up a strong dose of reality as I dug my feet into the sand and pushed with all my might only to slam my nipple on the edge of the pole I was pushing on, though I successfully suppressed my shock by biting my lip and allowing my eyes to express my surprise. Bare shoulders and callused hands pressed into the wooden planks anchored into the sides of the boat for such an occasion. Every man putting forth his greatest effort began breathing heavily as we labored the brutally weighted boat to the crest of the hill. The rear of the boat lifted slightly, finally allowing us the ability to finish forcing the bow into the water with a loud applause from the on looking tourists wisely deciding to observe instead of participating. I dropped into the refreshing ocean water, wiping the beading sweat from my fatigued body before once again joining Jessie, still struggling to find my breath.

We began our slow retreat towards town to remove the sand from our skin and change into more appropriate clothing for our dinner as the sun began to fade. I gazed down at the sandy line on my chest I hadn’t quite removed in the water, explaining to Jessie the reason for one hardened nipple and one soft. She failed to suppress her laughter, taking notice of the proof I offered in front of her. Having traveled in colder climates I had become fairly accustomed to such a sensation, but the stinging of a bamboo pole striking the heart of my nipple with bull’s eye Arugam Bay, Sri Lankaaccuracy was less than welcome.

With headlamps in hand we illuminated our path along the road, discovering a sign in the darkness perched next to small plastic tables with homemade lighting composed of cut off water bottles, filled with sand in the bottom and a small birthday sized candle providing a forced romantic dinner. I couldn’t help smiling as I found Jessie’s eyes through the dim, glistening light provided by the small flame between us. Back home people paid handsomely for candlelight dinners. Here, we were enjoying the same affects, more or less, for less than the cost of the gas it would have required for us to drive to the restaurant.


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