I got in early yesterday morning and had most of Sunday to unpack and get settled, ready for another Monday, another week and another month. My Barefoot journal is full to the brim, not that journals actually have brims, with mind maps of my adventures, my thoughts and my experiences in the motherland in the last two weeks. From meeting a particular person who was just the most amazing dancer to getting thoroughly pissed off by the way in which I feel much of the Lankan tourism industry is shamelessly raping the average tourist, it's all there.
Some of it I'll share with you in the days and weeks to come, some I'll keep to myself and only talk to friends about, for fear of the old "he's not a true Sri Lankan if he's that critical" thing that we know and love.
Of course I'm not a one hundred per cent true Sri Lankan either. I live here in London and I want to. Coming back here this time I felt as if I was leaving one home; the one of madness, chaos, corruption and knowing someone and arriving at another home; the one of order, systems, predictability and middleness.
What do I mean by "middleness"? I mean that in Sri Lanka, if you know the right person or have the right connections, you can get things done, often very quickly, more quickly than here in the UK. But, if you don't have the connections, you join the queue. And it's a very slow and cumbersome queue.
Here in Blighty knowing a person rarely makes a difference. Most of us get a middleness in the service we receive regardless of who we are. We get worse than the man in Lanka who knows someone but, as a default, we also get better than that chap in the queue.
This time I quite liked returning to that middleness, feeling a bit worn down by some of the ways in which I was treated by my hotel and surroundings in Sri Lanka. Such is life and I also feel immensely privileged that I'm one of the many with my heritage in Serendib and that I'm increasingly at home there.
It's also funny to see people complaining about the weather there. Here I sit and it's two and a half degrees outside. I'm quite lucky in that my body is doing that thing, you know the thing where being in a tropical country is like having a hot bath and your body retains the heat, so I'm feeling okay. But it's cold and I'd swap some of this dreary West London coldness for some of your much better quality Colombo coldness at the drop of a hat. Or a scarf even.
SL2G? Did I tell you about that?
We've got a really great photo exhibition thing, called "Talking Pictures - Connecting With Sri Lanka". It's on the 8th February at the East Gallery in Brick Lane and it promises to be a lively and rather brilliant evening of stimulating discussion around a set of photographs centred around our connections with Sri Lanka. Get in touch if you'd like to know more, or find SL2G on Facebook.
I must go now. I've got songs to learn, a new chap starting today and jetlag to be getting on with too.