Love Bar, Flamingo House

Having recently moved away from Sri Lanka, there are just some things that make me miss home so much that I can’t wait to treat myself the minute I return. Sometimes it’s easy to take paradise for granted, so here are 3 Things that I consider very special about home.

1. VISIT Family & Friends

Sarah pictured with family and friends
LT journalist Sarah pictured here with family and friends; she is dressed as a Strawberry for Halloween at LT!

Nowhere in the world have I found families to be as vast as they are in Sri Lanka. Whether your immediate family is small or large, there are always the extras that make up the difference. From your family driver to the Amme who has been making you kiribath or packing that school lunch box for years, to that crazy drunken gardener, to the nosy neighbours who clock what time you’ve been coming home on a school night, this motley crew of extras make up that wacky family vibe you’ve had following you around for years.

You will never truly feel alone, even when your parents are out of town. This isn’t a feeling that is easy to come by anywhere else but back home in Sri Lanka.

My own family consists of the best of both worlds with about 12 aunties and uncles, 48
cousins and approx. 23 nieces and nephews on my dad’s side (we are your typical Muslim jingbang) and an Achchi (grandmother), Loku Amma (mom’s older sister) and Jude Aiya on my mom’s side.

Yes, intrusive family can be annoying when you are just trying to navigate through the day, but mark my words, when they aren’t just a drive away, the world can seem a little bit lonely at times. Appreciate the love and shower yourself with it while you can, only in Sri Lanka.

2. EAT a Home Cooked Meal

sri lankan meal

I cannot emphasize the grandeur and unadulterated satisfaction of a home cooked Sri Lankan meal. It’s easy to grow sick of eating rice and curry for lunch every day, but leave home and you will soon find yourself with an insatiable craving for it. I am yearning for my mom’s cooking. They say a true Sri Lankan rice and curry spread consists of at least 8 dishes, so on that menu would be the following: her Sri Lankan prawn and murunga curry, ala thel dala, jackfruit curry, yellow rice, parippu, brinjal curry, pol sambol and of course papadum with a side of those thundering fried dried chilies. My mouth waters and my stomach rumbles as I type this. Mom, send me some foooood!

3. HIT the Club

Love Bar, Flamingo House
Photo courtesy of Love Bar, Flamingo House

Ok, so the nightlife in Sri Lanka isn’t always up to world standard. While living there I usually moaned and groaned at the thought of going out to one of the 3 places we’ve tended to gravitate to. Perhaps 3 is a bit of an understatement, we’re actually doing quite well now with variety. But I’ve come to realize, having just a handful of watering holes does have its advantages. Wherever you go, you’re sure to meet a friendly face you know, the pals you’ve grown up with, the usual club uncles, your favourite bouncer, that bartender that always slips you a free shot and, of course, small-armed Ravi who seems to be outside literally every club and party (he’s always been cooler than you, don’t forget that).

There’s something to be said about being a big fish in the small pond that is Colombo nightlife. Nowhere else will you have the feeling that you are ‘the shit’ and this truly is your hood like you do when hitting the town in Colombo city! Or even down south for that matter, if the beach vibe is more your scene. I look forward to my next nightly jaunt in Sri Lanka, all the stylish bars and pumped up clubs in the world don’t compare to the feeling that you are not only welcome but celebrated, everywhere you go.