I'm currently Sri Lanka with my two daughters and my parents. My Dad grew up in Sri Lanka and he's planned the most amazing trip for us. It's the first time the girls have been here and we're so excited to be travelling with their Seeya. It's like having your very own local tour guide with you at all times.
'What's that sign say?' (put your rubbish in the bin)
'What's this fruit?' (dandan)
'How do you say goodnight?' (suba rathriyak)
I feel like I'm getting a second chance to see and experience all the things I didn't appreciate on my first visit as a twelve year old who just wanted to be at home watching Ghostbusters on the last day of Grade 6 with a bunch of kids who didn't even like me.
And I'm drinking it all in. Asking all the questions about everything, ever. Eating all the food - even the sprats. Learning language (and being constantly corrected by my girls who have been attending Sinhala school back home for the last year! It's a phonetic language and they can read and write the complex script already which is a huge achievement They can understand a little and know how to pronounce the alphabet with its too hundred and something symbols).
It feels so good to be here. The humidity is like an enormous hug that slows you down, forces you to be present in the moment. To embrace local time.
The streets are filled with life. Mothers standing at their gate, holding toddlers call out as we pass by. Men on bicycles dinking their friends down the road wave as they pass. Tuk tuts carrying metal poles balanced precariously on their roofs honk to tell us to step aside. Women walking to the village carry umbrellas to protect them from the glare of the sun.
And now I get to walk them too.