Yep, it was certainly different spending my birthday in Sri Lanka. It really did feel strange, I have to say, being so far away from my family and friends but I got some nice texts and finally my cards arrived today. Plus, my fantastic friends in SL made it a great day!
It started at 5.30am when myself, Julia and Anne (who'd come all the way from Hambantota, actually all the way from Inverness to be accurate) arose to go up the stairs at the back of the house and watch sunrise. Our landlord lives behind us and has a balcony area with tables and chairs, and Julia made a pot of tea and brought it up with a birthday cake (she's a Virgo!). It got light and we weren't sure if that WAS sunrise - it was lovely but no sun. And then, suddenly, the sun appeared. It was stunning. The views are amazing anyway but watching the sun come up was just fantastic.
Around 8am we headed to Unawatuna beach where we stayed till 5pm. I can think of worse places to go. The weather was great and I was in and out of the water like a yo yo. We had planned to go snorkelling (my first time) but the water got too choppy so we just drank Pina Coladas instead.
At night, as you can see from the photo, we went to the cinema. We saw this film Siri Raja Siri which was brilliant. It's strange how you can follow even the nuances of a film despite not understanding a word of it. It's about a little boy who wins a scholarship to a posh school in Colombo. But the posh school takes him far far away from his village and he has trouble settling in especially when he gets bullied by the fat (of course!) boy. I was getting fair carried away with the injustice of it all I can tell you!
Anyway had a fantastic time and although I missed the people I'd normally be spending my birthday with, my friends here more than made up for it. Particularly the ones who brought chocolate, jewellery and wine!
The weekend continued on Sunday (you know what I mean) and I spent Sunday learning a lot more about the Sri Lankan way of life which I'll blog about later in the week.