it's now Friday. last i posted, it was Tuesday. progress report: no phone, more mosquito bites, one wedding invitation, one wedding missed, six more annexes visited, no more annexes settled upon or moved into. plus, i got attacked by mean dogs and locked out of my hotel one night. plus, that one lovely annexe is actually taken from March onwards. curses!
i'm having this sense of 'how am i going to keep myself busy for nine months?' ...all this unstructured time is really, really daunting and i'm supposed to be doing fieldwork and all. it's hard to do fieldwork when you're shy and nobody likes you. (kidding, mostly.)
the mean-dogs story is pretty funny. i was walking down to Kandytown (as we call it) from Aniwatte/Asgiriya area, through random paddy-fields and villages on a shortcut explained to me by the landlady of the nice but far-off and unfindable (#17 should be between 15 and 19, right? wrong!) annexe there. incidentally, it was really strange how the views of the valley from the road were far nicer than the views from the house!
anyway, i'm walking through this very poor village area, and looking for a flight of stairs that will cut through to the main road, when some dogs start barking. dogs here are trained to bark at strangers so people will know if someone's come around--mostly they don't bite or attack. but i'm walking up a steep flight of stairs made of old tires filled with sand, no wider than that, and some dogs start coming out of the bushes at the sides, and out of peoples' yards, barking-barking-barking and coming at my ankles with TEETH OUT. usually you can just menace them with a stone or a bag but one of them i gave a good zetz (Yiddish, "smack") with the bag and yelled at them to GET AWAY. the owners came running out and called off the dogs and sort of laughed at me. i was really shaken up and had to hyperventilate a bit to get the old shakes out of my legs. when i got to town i had a nice drink at The Pub (the Only pub) in Kandy to calm down.
it was a non-alcoholic drink, [un?]fortunately, as i then ran into the lovely-annexe owner. she is, as my amma put it, "extremely business-minded," a description which has been echoed by every adult who knows her in Dangolla. she's pushy, at least. we took the bus to near Dangolla and a trishaw up the hill and the whole way she's bugging me about when i'going to move in, why am i looking at other places, etc etc. She did promise lower rent--Rs.12,000 instead of 14. i have three places to see tomorrow but my resistance is wearing down.
oh, and then i ran away from my hotel because it was full of SL Army guys drinking beer and arrack, and stayed at Jill's house too late and got locked out. that sucked. (had to walk past a bunch of dogs too!)
random observation: everyone in Sri Lanka except my tailor friend Nalini hates my haircut--even my former ISLE professors. i keep hearing: why did you cut it? you had beautiful hair! o, what i wouldn't give for a few days in a culture with a little more value placed on privacy.
i should stop whining and find a house, no? i am generally okay but suffering, i think, from too long at sea (as it were). you out there--i miss you. a lot.