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  • Tara B. Vasi

December 31st. NYE in Sri Lanka. Galle Post Office. Good fucking bye 2019.

I woke up in my cute pink room at Chami’s Place and started my kettle. I had instant coffee, honey, and coconut milk, and turned into a mad scientist trying to find a concoction that hit the spot. I had coffee and I had a plan. All was right in the world.


My room was so close to the restaurant that I could hear peoples cutlery moving along the plate as they cut their food.


I unrolled my yoga mat and started the day with 45 minutes of moving mediation.


My computer and I went to breakfast. I click click clicked away while drinking coffee and eating fried eggs. I was sufficiently caffeinated and when I looked down at my fingers they were shaking slightly.


Today, I was going to travel to Galle to hunt down the package my sister sent me from Pennsylvania.


My tuk tuk driver was the man. He was incredibly small and had no teeth. He drove me to the post office in Galle without trying to talk to me (I loved that) and then helped me navigate through the process of picking up my sisters package and sending a package of Christmas gifts to my sister.


I have been collecting and lugging around gifts for my family from country to country for the last three months. It was time I sent them off and cleared some space in my backpack.


I wanted to send the gifts sooner so that they reached my family in time for Christmas, but Chamara wouldn’t take me to the post office. This was really my first opportunity to send them off.


When we entered Galle, I was immediately reminded of the shitty experience I had there with Vera, the bad uncle, and Harshini at the beginning of my experience in Sri Lanka.


The tuk tuk driver parked in front of the post office and in front of someones jewelry stand. I can’t understand Singalese, but I could definitely understand the jewelry stand owner did NOT appreciate the tuk tuk blocking his stand. They continue to holler at each other even as we walk into the post office. I cannot escape hostility apparently.


I can’t pick up the package right away because the workers are at lunch so send my gifts first. They charge me $50 to ship the box to the USA and the whole process of weighing, posting, etc, takes about an hour. People try to cut me and the tuk tuk driver in line and he doesn’t allow that to happen in the slightest. This guy is the tiniest savage I have ever met.


We shift over to pick up the package. I sign at least five different documents in order to receive the package. I wait about 45 minutes and they call my name and ask me to come and sit at the table. I can see a box with my sisters hand writing resting on the table top. They open the box and begin to inspect each item. Unfortunately, my sister did not send any drugs. lol. 🤷‍♀️ The package is cleared.

I cannot believe all the treats inside! Candy, snacks, RX bars, yoga pants, face masks… I am so thrilled to have all of these amazing things! Thank god I was able to receive this gift! The care package instantly puts me in a good mood.


I open the Reeses peanut butter cups and they are the perfect amount of melted. The tuk tuk driver and I eat half on the bag on the way home. He hands me his wrappers over his right shoulder.


I share a few other items with him to show my appreciation, like the box of Annie's macaroni and cheese. Thats doable without teeth, right? 🤷‍♀️ I know my sister won’t mind.


I get back to the hostel and the dudes at the desk tell me I have to change rooms. Sad.


I move from my cute pink room with one double bed and a private bath to a small bedroom with two twin beds and a shared bathroom down the hall. Whatever, I have candy.


My sister sent me a picture Louie made of Santa clause and I hang it by the window in my new room.


I am still shaking from the caffeine, the unusual stress of the post office experience, and the irrational amount of sugar I've consumed so far that day. I know its time for me to fucking relax already. I go to the beach. I eat cashews, almonds, and walnuts for lunch.


I dig a hole and create a lounge chair out of sand. If you dont do this, you should start.


I jump into the ocean. The ocean quickly calms me down. When I swim underneath the water, I can still hear my shoulder joints crack, but not nearly as loudly or as often as the day before because of my morning yoga session. The waves are rowdy and playful.


I stay at the beach until after sunset. I would have stayed in the ocean all night if I could, but when the sun completely disappeared, I knew I'd feel more comfortable back at the hotel. I didnt trust Sri Lanka after dark.




I go back to the hostel and shower down the hall. On my way back I notice something furry behind the door and I start to freak out thinking its a rat, but it ends up being a kitten and it’s playing with its brother or sisters tail.

I FaceTime with my mother and my sister who are together in PA. Everyone is excited that I have the package! But not more then me!

I get to see my nephews and little Bailey kisses me through the phone. I am stoked to be able to share with my Mom and my sister my new plans in Chiang Mai.

I eat chicken and vegetable for dinner. I share Reeses peanut butter cups with Rosa and the two Australian girls she has befriended. They invite me for a drink but I decline. They repeatedly comment on my figure and it makes me extremely uncomfortable. I know their comments were meant to be complimentary, but it still felt judgmental and inappropriate. I guess I just didnt want anyone looking at me or sizing me up, including them.

I went to my room around 9:30pm and watched Suits until the internet cut out around 11pm. I could hear people partying at the bar for NYE, music blaring, and fireworks blasting off in the distance. I felt content in my twin bed, ready to say goodbye to 2019 on my own and hello to the new opportunities I’d create for myself in 2020.

I learned so much about myself and what I am capable of accomplishing in the world in 2019. I am going to take all of those lessons, the good and the bad, and continue to grow in 2020. After all, they are a part of me now, a part of my story.




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