Hikkaduwa

hikkaduwa-beach

Hikkaduwa the place of warm sun, sandy beach, tall coconut trees, a place where one can go diving in coral reefs, see turtles. It’s also the place for night-life, where plenty of things are explored.

As I was heading south I remembered to check out this place, because I had already missed it once. I got off the train station quickly, and instantly booked a place to stay. As I was walking to my hotel, I see two asian women, most likely Japanese who were briskly walking barefoot, one of them seemed in pain. I inquired to see if she was ok, her expression was stone cold; I was thinking to myself this place is something else.

After reaching the hotel which was a clean place, but had poor cooling, I went out to look for a bicycle to rent. Most people though the I was looking for a motorbike, rather than a bicycle, but having walked for an hour I finally found a place where they rent bikes. An old woman looked at me and inquired where I am from, which place I was staying, but didn’t want to rent the bicycle to me; I knew the reason so I moved to another shop which was luckily nearby, and got one.

I have always enjoyed cycling, it allows me to really absorb the environment I am in with the right pace, giving me flexibility in going through difficult terrain, and at the same time giving me much needed exercise. I stopped over at the turtle conservation center, there were maybe a dozen european girls in there, all of them looked like they are saints, trying to save the turtles, all the while taking pictures like this.

anglob
saving turtles

They were more interested in the publicity of the center, the recognition, signalling virtue, the photos, rather than the main mission of conservation. It is indeed an inherent characteristics especially among the selfish gene pool.

At night a different story starts, the whole energy of the sun drowns and booze and lights takes over. It’s the place where white women spread their legs to get creamed. Going back to my place around midnight, I see a group of british girls, stone drunk making sounds like chimps, talking randomly to passerby. They somehow manage to get a scooter with one girl lying on the floor and another one sitting the opposite way. That’s just the start of their night cock carousel adventure and hikkaduwa happens to be one of them.

Spicy Bakso

bakso
bakso

My mouth becomes watery every-time I look or even think about bakso. It is one of the most popular meals in Indonesia, it can be found anywhere from street vendors to restaurants. The type of bakso that I loved having was the one with full of flavors covered in red spice.

It’s a dish that has meatballs, noodles, chips, filled with delicious broth, there is variety in them, but it’s mostly spicy. Yet the one thing that I didn’t find westerners trying is the delicious bakso, simply because most westerners can’t eat spice, they could barely eat a spoon of the soup let alone the whole bowl ! As I am asian, spicy food was already part of our diet, and our body is accustomed to handle a wide variety of spices. Eating red hot chili peppers with our food is normal, yet to see a white person eat just one slice of chili is like comedy.

Our genetic makeup has designed our taste buds to be different from each geographical area. It’s also common that most asians will not find western food tasty, hence asian foods are popular abroad. Having spice lights up my senses, it’s strong smell hits the nose, it’s chemical reaction waters the mouth, it’s intensity jolts the mind, causes the eyes and nose to be runny, spicing up my experience.

In a Farm

farm1
swearihadsomethingforthis.co.id

I was having second thoughts of staying in a farm while I was being taken up the steep hills, in a rural part of the town. I decided to stay in a farm, because it provided free food and accommodation, it was an easy way to save money during my stay abroad. I also wanted to try farming; growing up in one of the most densely populated city the only thing in my mind was to get away from the chaos to being out on the open in the fields.

The car drives up the steep hill, then takes a right turn along a narrow grass road and stops at the end of the hill. It had rained, and I looked around the bamboo structures that were incomplete and dripping wet. Then a man came to greet me, I had no clue what to expect. When I got to the dormitory that I was going to stay I felt sick, it was dirty, messy, the beds were made from wood gotten from cargo containers. Even the shelves were made from that wood, the shower was dirty with no tiles. Toilets were covered with curtains, but had no doors. I wanted to stay for the night and get out of the next day.

I knew about this place online where one can register and look for a farm that they can stay, I was told about the place and expected contribution to the farm in return for food and accommodation. The one thing that changed my mind about not leaving the place, was meeting two volunteers from Europe, one of the girl was from Denmark, she had been in a farm in Thailand where there were rats living in the room and the bed was on the ground, another volunteer was from Hungary he looked pretty satisfied with the conditions of living in a tent. I had to realize the context, I was in a farm in the steep hills of a rural part of the town, this was a completely different environment from living in a city, I can’t expect a 5 star hotel to be in a farm !

farm2
swearihadsomethingforthis.co.id

It took me a couple of days to adjust, and I was eager to get my hands dirty, the one thing that I realized very quickly is farming is a lot more difficult than one realizes. It’s physically very exhausting, with repetitive hand work, toiling under the harsh sun. There were more volunteers coming mainly from Europe, I was the only asian there, which made me realize why are only westerners working in farms and yet no asians.

Most of the people there were spending their holidays, and learning about permaculture, enjoying every bit of it. The place was very quiet and peaceful, with trees, plants, fruits all around, the environment made the whole place lively. Meeting people from different parts of the world, learning about their views, yet having a common understanding made it an incredible experience.

Sunny Country

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It wasn’t on my radar, until I looked on the map to see what other options I had. This was another country that had no prior visa requirement, which means I can easily go there, and the plane ticket was quiet cheap, due to the large number of tourists.

I didn’t know what to expect when I had planned to go to Sri Lanka, an island nation south of India. I already had a blast being in Bali, and was reluctant to go to the south asian region, expecting dirty broken roads, selfish people, and not much to see. Things completely changed, when I was seated in a large jet in the airport, it was literally filled with tourists from all over the world.

That was the most shocking aspect, I never realized a country that was only a couple of hours away from us would have more western tourists than what I had seen in Bali. I was surprised that a country, whose GDP is lower than us, would have excellent roads, latest traffic signals, higher quality infrastructure than us. Travelling around was easy due to the affordable public transport system. Food, hotels were all cheap, no wonder hordes of tourists were coming there.

People are laid back, with curiosity and a smile, practicing a peaceful religion, and respecting their culture and values. Population is very low compared to us, I rarely saw selfish bitches that I see regularly in my own country. It was a trip that I am glad to have taken it, with so many scenery, animals, culture, food, oceans and plenty of sunshine.