Name: Olya
Occupation: Restaurant Manager
Based in: Weligama

Olya is from St. Petersburg, Russia. She is currently living in Weligama and runs the Restaurant at Good Story.

01. How did you come to run the Good Story Restaurant?
It was all by chance actually. I came down to Sri Lanka for just 6 days and while I was staying at Good Story, one of the friends I was with introduced me to the guys who founded this place. During those 6 days I got to know them really well. When I told them I manged a restaurant back home in Russia they offered me a job as Manager of the Good Story restaurant. I do a little bit of everything here, I cook, clean, waitress and supervise. Basically everything that is needed to make sure its all running smoothly. We get a lot of guests from all over the world who have come down to surf or just to chill by the beach. It is a pretty awesome place to work because it doesn’t feel like work at all. It feels like I am on a fabulous and never-ending holiday.

02. How is Sri Lankan different from your home country, Russia?
Sri Lanka is completely different from my home country, I am from St. Petersburg, Russia and compared to the freezing temperatures over there the weather over here is a dream! Back home there is always a sense of urgency to just keep going, it is kind of hard to just take a breather. Over here the vibe is so relaxed and laid back. It’s good to just take a minute and enjoy life. It can be a bit frustrating to get things done here in a timely fashion sometimes but I have got used to it and have learned to just go with the flow.

03. Any plans to go back home?
I have been here 7 months and I have loved every minute of it and I have no intention of going back if I can help it! Back home in Russia I was just working constantly and partying my weekends away. Looking back it’s scary to realize that I was stuck in the same repetitive cycle that didn’t allow me the time and space to grow as a person. It is completely different here, I have had the chance to discover myself and what I want in life and for that I will always love Sri Lanka.

04. What’s your favourite place in Sri Lanka?
I loved Nuwara Eliya and the Horton Plains. It has become one of my favourite places to explore. Especially when it gets really hot here, it is nice to hop over there for a change in scenery and weather.

05. Have you observed any positive/negative changes, if any, around Galle in the short time you’ve been here?
It’s a beautiful place from what I have seen and experienced. There are a lot of international visitors passing through this area because of the surf and the beautiful beaches. I really feel the area is improving and upgrading every day to accommodate the increasing demand.

06. What do you like about Sri Lanka?
I love the vibe and nature of this place and in particular this spot. I also love how friendly and accepting the people are.

07. What do you dislike about Sri Lanka?
Well, I kind of miss the big city life of Europe and all the convenience that comes with it. I lived 21 years of my life there so I am bound to miss it. Especially the shopping malls! But it’s also a good thing I guess, because it’s a chance to know how things would work without all the distractions.

08. What’s your favourite Sri Lankan food and drink?
Rice and Curry! And I love King Coconut Water. When I was a kid, I used to go absolutely crazy over anything with coconut in it. I also love Sri Lankan black tea.