New Year’s 2009 into 2010

I woke up the morning of New Year’s Eve incredibly homesick. This didn’t even make sense to me since I think I was 14 the last time I celebrated the new year with my family.

But I was. I called my aunt for awhile. I cried. I think everything just kinda hit me at once. This month’s holiday season didn’t feel like one at all. Christmas day I spent on the beach getting sunburnt and roaming around a town that reminded me of Santa Cruz, CA.

And the New Year’s was being spent… away. There would be no ball dropping, no house parties, no going through bottles of wine with Jaime on the balcony and watching Stardust in the living room (drinking more wine) like last year.

But I didn’t feel like going out, or rather – not far. Fortunately neither did one of the other teachers. She was the best person to spend it with because she is about as old as my parents, and from Australia. On top of that she had spent Christmas homesick, so she understod.

We went to Blue Wate and spent the day swimming in the pool and lounging on chairs and drinking lime juice. I learned the difference between a Sri Lankan Sari and an Indian Sari.

Since New Year’s Eve fell on a Poya day this year, so no alcohol could be purchased, which was fine. I have no interest in drinking when I travel – it’s a general rule when I travel (alone).

We laid around til late afternoon, when we parted ways and I took my bus home.

Normally when I get back to the house I keep my distance. It can’t be easy to always have volunteers in and out of the home, so I go into my room and read or listen to music. But not on New Year’s Eve. I went outside and talked with my host mom for awhile. We talked about the idea of divorce, and how they celebrate New Year’s both the one coming up as well as the Sri Lankan New Year (which is in April).

As the day lingered on I got changed, as we had been invited to dinner at one of the host dad’s friends houses. They had even extended the invite to me, which made me feel incredibly grateful. Unfortunately,with all the sun and swimming and lounging I was utterly exhausted by the time we got there around 8:30pm. We only stayed long enough for introductions and dinner before the host mom saw my drooping eyes (to my embarassment) and suggested we leave early.

I felt incredibly bad – but had I known we were going out so late I would have napped. Also, it was difficult as no one except my host family spoke english.

I apologzed profusely to the host mother on the way home and when we got home.

I fell asleep before 10pm.

The next morning I was up before my alarm clock to get ready to take a bus, then train then tuktuk to my hotel where I am currently staying (www.transasiahotel.com) from Jan 1 – Jan 3.

To my surprise my host dad was on his way to a town just before Colombo and offered to give me a ride. I originally thought it was only going to be to the Panadura train station but we passed it quickly. We talked a little, mostly about politics and the upcoming election in Sri Lanka (voting is on January 25) for the new President.

Check in went smoothly and I paid usd 10 more per night for a view of the pool and Lake Beira. Here is a link to what my room looks like (and it really looks exactly like that): http://www.cinnamonhotels.com/LakesidePremiumRooms.htm

I checked in early and immediately fell into the lowered bed, which was great.

 By the time I arrived in Colombo, just before 11am, it was already almost 90 degrees and with getting sunburnt on Christmas, and having my back get nice and red the day before at Blue Water (on NYE) I decided to forgo the pool, instead opting for wifi and bbc news for the afternoon.

A little before 8pm, I ordered room service (for the first time ever in my life!) and the food arrived about an hour later.

After dinner rooster and I had a photoshoot:

I rang in the New Year in the states with a few friends that had either come home early or opted not to go out at all. The night ended early at around midnight.

I woke up this morning and lounged around lazily, excited to see one of the channels I got was ESPN.

Around 9am, I went down for breakfast and quickly came back up to check the weather. UV Index was 10+ and the temperature was already nearly 80 (with humidity it was closer to 90). Yes… no thank you.

So I lounged and had a typical lazy day that I could have seen myself having on a stormy day in California. Football on and channel surfing between the Rose Bowl and Flashdance.

Tomorrow I check out at noon and head back to Wadduwa to prepare for the start of the new term. I can’t believe it will already be the start of week 3!

I hope everyone had a great New Year’s! Happy 2010 🙂

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