April and May aren’t months full of holidays, they’re holiday months. In case you haven’t noticed, my blogging frequency has dropped dramatically. Every day just feels like a holiday, with occasional surfing for paperwork. Which is kinda the way it is. Avurudu breakishness has just worn off and now it’s Vesak, a long weekend for the full moon. I think that’s the end of it, but during these hot harvest months, there really isn’t a whole lot going on.
Avurudu is the best. Yes all the rural domestics leave and the Colombo class struggles to find a clean shirt or, like, eat, but there is also a dramatic drop in traffic on the streets. All the bus drivers, three-wheel drivers, commuters – they’ll all gone home. Even the street dogs and cows seem to take a breather. Avurudu is technically only like a two day holiday, but it ends up being at least a week. Colombo traffic didn’t return to the normal horrorshow for about two.
So there’s April. May has begun, but it began with May Day, ostensibly a workers holiday, but really another day of not work. In between competing government and opposition marches, there really wasn’t a lot going on. I just sat in the lunch kade, eating rice and chicken curry, watching the communist floats go by.
This weekend is Vesak, you can see all the Vesak lanterns and, like, Scream masks on the side of the road. Apparently people also dress up as demons on this Buddhist (really older than Buddhist) holiday, a sub-tradition which has been replaced by America pop culture and Chinese manufacturing. The armed forces are loading paper mache elephant trunks out of military vehicles and stringing up lights and flags around the Beira Lake. Post-war, I honestly see the Army assembling floats and making, like, dioramas more than anything else. There’s food stalls and should be a great light show, with lotuses glowing round the Gangarama temple. I wouldn’t venture to take a car out (and I don’t have one anyways), but it should be an interesting walk around.
If I remember correctly, they’ll have smaller (yet still big) pandols all over, depicting the life/lives of the Buddha, being a stage for puppet show, generally being awesome. Last year the neighbors had an ice cream dansal (give away) which was pretty awesome, but nobody’s hit me up for money yet. I heard there’s a fried rice dansal down the street. Dansal is just giving food away, sometimes forcibly stopping traffic and forcing people to eat and drink. I’ve heard these can lead to dodgy stomach but, honestly, I have put some ridiculous stuff into my stomach lately and I think the bacterial force is strong within me. I must be giving parasites diarrhea.
Uh, anyways. AFAIK this is the last of the major holidays and social work presumably begins in earnest after this, but I honestly don’t know. You get in this mode where you’re kinda unaware of what time it is – the usual lotus island phenomenon in the extreme. These months are insufferably hot and there are so many holidays that time and life pass slower. I’d feel lazy, but everyone else is doing it. Indeed, I have been working these past few months, but I actually feel rude for doing it. People are often on holiday, or coming back from holiday, or otherwise unavailable or occupied.
People say Sri Lankans are lazy or that we have too many holidays, but I think it’s OK. This pace of life is sustainable and sane. I hope you’re enjoying the long months. Happy Vesak.