A place to punish your hunger
The nice thing about staying in one place for a longer time, is that you get familiar. With the owners of the guesthouse, with the best dishes on her menu, with the most private spots on the beach and the rythm of every day life. And they get familiar with you - the guesthouse couple knows exactly which pancake you like in the morning and which juice in the afternoon, the fishermen know you can't say no to them, when they ask you to help them pull in their huge net of fish, the man across the street that sells fish and/or coconuts greets you every day and you can buy five litres of water on credit at the small shop nearby, when they don't have change.
The boys can help make their own banana- and coconut pancake, the lady buys our youngest a ball and when she returns from the market she lets us taste some real local food (some sort of spicy fried dahl?). We were lucky, Harshi (of our Siesta Guesthouse) is a true kitchen goddess: how great is it to order the same dish every night (rice and curry) and to get served completely different little dishes, every night!
The boys got a fair share of animal spotting right here, in our little restaurant area; monkeys, iguanas, squirrels, kittens, frogs, peacocks, centipedes (Are they dangerous? A little bit), but the highlight was a 1,5 meter long snake (not a dangerous one, but the owners wanted to get rid of it just the same).
Apart from all this spoiling in the food- and attention department, there was, of course, the beach. One of my most vivid memories is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world: after a big wave crashes all around you and you manage to get your head above the water: the crackling sound made by the popping of the thousands of white seabubbles. So peaceful after the violence of the fierce wave. We got to experience that every day during our stay in Tangalle. We also discovered two quiet beaches with calm waters, one located so idyllic located, where the sea flows into the lagoon, perfect for some actual swimming, instead of jumping.
Another beautiful memory is when Harshi tells me a Sri Lankan children story (as I requested), in the dark, the rain pounding the roof of the restaurant, so I could hardly hear her soft voice, after which I could tell it to my boys, before bed.
On the cover of their menu it says: a place to punish your hunger. For me, this was not just the hunger in our bellies, but also the appetite for more experiences (we really found some peace of mind here), and the longing for real connection (with shy people, it takes a while to get to know them, which makes the meaningful conversations you have even more valuable).
When you are in someone's home (when we step out of our room, we stand in their living room) for 17 nights, you can not help but get a little attached, which makes saying goodbye harder. On our last night here they threw us a barbecue with fresh fish and chicken and sausages for the boys, to thank us! It's an upside down world sometimes, so with gratitude we say farewell to Tharindu and Harshi of Siesta Guesthouse in Tangalle.