It's been a week now since I arrived in Sri Lanka, and for the most part things are swell. After a brief stay in a quaint guest house I moved into my apartment in Nawala, a neighborhood south of the heart of Colombo. I'm in the lap of luxury here with Wi-Fi, hot water, and a delightfully pink mosquito net. The apartment sits atop the home of my landlords, who I'm sure are growing weary of coming upstairs to show me how to turn on the oven or use the TV. I still can't figure out the microwave, but I've limited myself to at most two technical revelations per day for sake of my landlords' sanity.
Indeed, my most profound questions so far have all started with, "How do I _____?" For example, how do I cook here? Many of my dietary staples in the States are either very expensive or unavailable. Because I'm not sure what to do with what ingredients are available, each shopping trip results in a rather eclectic assortment of goods. The supermarket workers are kind and helpful, but they must wonder what I'm going to cook with eggplant, grapes, and pineapple jam.
Alongside learning the basics of living on the opposite side of the world, I'm diving right into my research. Tomorrow I begin Kandyan dance lessons at the Chitrasena school. Chitrasena is the most famous professional dance company in Sri Lanka, and many would say it's the best. My first class is an hour-and-a-half private lesson with their principal dancer. Holy moly, to say the least. That said, I'd better switch off the Sri Lankan version of "Dancing With the Stars" and climb underneath my pretty pink mosquito net into bed.