Three Hearty Cheers to Hangover!


I stayed an eventful three months at Hangover Hostels at Kinross Avenue. Made some friends for life and we continue to stay in touch. There was Ally Simpson from Canada a bit of a Charlize Theron to me. A wonderful girl/woman who loves tattoos. She even got a tattoo in Sinhala before she left and it read ‘Ei Neththe ‘(Why Not). People at Hangover will not forget Ally because of Ally’s Wall at Hangover . She painted the long wall and added colour to it. By the way, ask her about that rascal Miguel, and Ally will say a mouthful. We all agree with you Ally that there are pests all over even a pest control company cannot control. Let’s wish him good luck at no job company.

Then there is Martina Ordine from Italy, who is still at Hangover and doing a great job. Event Management and PR is her speciality. She is always cheerful and she single handedly did the cooking for my farewell dinner and we remain friends. Rajvi Panchal was an architect student from India. Though she left early, her friends continue to understudy Sri Lankan architects while staying at Hangover Hostels. I found Rajvi to be the most cheerful out of the Indians. She really wanted to work with Bawa’s students. I got in touch with my friends Aquilla Peiris and Channa Daswatte to help her. When Channa got in touch , Rajvi was gone.

Though I cannot remember his name; there was this peaceful bearded Sri Lankan man who was from out of Colombo and stayed at Hangover. He was pleasant and most of the time sat on the beanbags with his girlfriend and enjoyed each others company. We always exchanged pleasantries. Miguel the Spaniard was one hell of a painful character. He always kept on complaining and blaming the management. One day he got his marching orders and became like a deflated balloon never to have air. Then the Hangover People brought a wonderful Australian to manage the hostel. Ben was a typical down to earth Aussie, I liked him very much. He was a cool character and did his part well. I and others enjoyed his company very much. Of course I beat him playing carom. The Carrom board was a new addition to the hostel apart from scrabble and other games. Carrom became our favourites, and we all had a wonderful time playing the game and even teaching others who did not know it. Martina the Italian never wanted to lose a game and she was great fun. We asked her how could the Mafia let others win.

Glen kept the place going with his entertaining ways. He did add good cheer to the hostel, and I saw him sleeping in the garden or speaking to guests even at 5 in the morning. That was his spirit. Joanna, Ellie, Titi, Abbs are few good people I met there. We even wondered in the city talking travel and sharing adventures. We always had a good laugh because everyone was equal and we were travelers in life.

Melli, a German writer I met, is still in Sri Lanka enjoying the countryside. I remember, Titi the Chinese who wanted to learn English and always stopped me to write down words. So, it was always a slow chat with Titi. That is how much she wanted to learn English. Hangover had the perfect hot water showers. It was just right and I enjoyed very much. A place well kept, and it was more than a hostel I must say. It is also a place for volunteers to come and work. Not abuse the place, but to make use of the place. Volunteer travellers bring with them diversity and a spirit no other could.

Though we shared food and had food others cooked, my favourite place was Taste of Asia opposite St Peter’s College. They served tasty and spicy food , the way I liked. Taste of Asia is expensive. But, I had no choice because that was the only place there for me. May be I became one of the best customers and the GM Wetson and others treated me very well. I will remember them and their food always. Guests at the Hangover hostel could use the Kinross swimming pool though I never went to Kinross even once . Many went there I know and I am sure they enjoyed swimming "Sri Lankish’ style. I will never forget the staff led by Thusitha Gunewardane who took care and showed great concern for my health when I fell ill there. Doctors, told me not to leave Colombo for three weeks. Dirk is the one who was on duty the morning I fell ill. I got into my car and drove not knowing what I was getting into. Dirk will be remembered for his concern that morning . Glen and I became even good friends after that. Even Miguel who had cigarettes for breakfast, lunch and dinner did inquire about my health. Not only the staff , even the guests at Hangover cared for me and asked how I was. I will never forget that love and caring at Hangover. How could I ever?

I left Hangover Hostel after three months of meeting wonderful travelers as friends. If I didn't have to wake up early to go to work , I would have stayed there for a long , long time. Last time I went to Hangover is when they had an open mic session, that too organised by Dinara. It was a wonderful time and yes I did enjoy Palmyrah arrack and lemonade with Alice Luker , Sri Lankan-British Kella of Style in Sri Lanka Fame. I will keep going to Hangover to Hang Over. Thank you Dinara. Yes. YOLO. YOLO. (You live only once) and my timing was good. If I wasn't at the right time at the right place my Peter Pan dream would have died in April.

Cheers Hangover Sri Lanka.

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