THE BLOG
01/26/2016 07:03 am ET Updated Jan 26, 2017

Sweating It Out on the Island

I'm looking for my driver at the Colombo airport, but don't see him. I wait a few minutes and then realize I need to make a move. I ask a man if I can borrow his cell phone to make a local call; I tell him that I'll give him an American dollar. He allows me to make the call. I connect with my driver; he'll be coming to pick me up imminently. I then try to pay the gentleman who let me borrow his phone, though he refuses. I press him a bit, yet he isn't budging. His insistence makes me happy; this Sri Lanka sojourn is off to a good start.

I'd forgotten how terrible Colombo tuk-tuk drivers are. I have a pretty good feel for the city, but I'm still learning too. I don't always know where I'm going and the tuk-tuk drivers rarely seem to know where they're going. Tuk-tuk driver head-bobbing can be so deceptive. It's never safe to rely on that head-bobbing, no matter how comforting it may at first appear.

And then there's the sun, lots of sun. A big snowstorm has recently hit the Washington, D.C. area, where I'm currently living. I'm from Texas. Cold weather is uncomfortable enough. Why add snow to the mix? I've seen a few pictures via Twitter. It looks like we're talking about some serious snow, though I wouldn't really know. I'm on the other side of the world, wearing sandals and rolling up the sleeves on all of my dress shirts. I'm revisiting old haunts and trying to discover some new ones. I'm seeing friends and meeting other people for the first time. I'm wondering how this wonderful, frustrating place is still able to stir up such a contradictory set of emotions.

This is just a brief trip. My life is in the U.S. now, or at least that's what I've been telling myself recently. Yet I'm not in America now; I'm in Sri Lanka.

After a lackluster 2015, 2016 is off to a very promising start. It's good to be back. No, it's great to be back, sweating it out on the island. There's no place I'd rather be.