single-serving friendships

One of the most unique and wonderful things about the expat life is this idea that was first planted in my head by a movie – you know, that one we don’t talk about. The narrator, for some reason, traveled a lot for work. Right at the beginning, when the narrator meets the antagonist, he makes a bad joke about how everywhere he goes, things are provided to him in single portions – one meal at a restaurant, only having enough shampoo in the bottle to wash your hair one time, being given a tube of toothpaste so small you can only get…

heading north

“You’re going where?” was the reaction I got from most people when I told them about my plans for the long weekend. Nobody expected us to go to Jaffna. We were, in fact, discouraged from it. Only seven years after the end of the war, Jaffna is not exactly a tourist destination. It’s far away, it’s ultra conservative, and it’s still healing from a long and brutal conflict. But, Sri Lanka had two government holidays this week, on Monday and Tuesday, and of course we took advantage of our extended weekend to visit the northern peninsula. Saturday morning, Karen, Margaret, and I, backpacks…