Here I am in Colombo, sipping a delicious ice-cold beer after a much needed not-quite-ice-cold shower and change of underwear.
Bleary-eyed, I stumbled into my hostel in the centre of Colombo about an hour ago, backpack and all, desperate to be horizontal after the overnight flight from London Heathrow. But after freshening up and gazing at the sunset from the rooftop terrace, I feel a little more human (despite the 34 degrees and 80% humidity!).
At the airport, beautiful smiling stewardesses wearing their ornate saris decorated with peacock feathers contrasted quite grimly with the non-equivocal “Sri Lanka Narcotics” sign informing tourists that possession of illegal drugs is punishable by death. Go figure what the shops selling a whole range of fridges and ovens were doing there.
The taxi ride from the airport was, as expected, rather bewildering. Glued to my black-tinted cab windows, I watched entire families speed past helmet-less on scooters along the palm-lined express way.
The last few weeks have been tumultuous to say the least, culminating in the heart-wrenching feeling of having to drag myself away from my James – who’d have thought saying goodbye would be so goddam hard?! And now, here I am. I already feel a long way from yesterday, standing in my Heathrow toilet cubicle, overwhelmed by the enormity of this enterprise, trying to steady my breathing, focus on each inspiration, each expiration. This is going to be ok.