Journal Entry: Day 126

Hiriketiya, Dikwella, Sri Lanka,

Yesterday I had some good luck, and some bad luck at the same time. While still in full lockdown all around the country here. My driver, the one that drove me around the South coast before lockdown, find a way to bring me to the bat place. Since he knows that I am waiting for restrictions to be lifted, so I can finally achieve my bat recording mission. He found a way to help me and got a letter signed by police who allowed us to go to the bat place and do the recordings despite the nationwide travel restrictions. Therefore we left Hiriketiya with his tuk-tuk around 3:30 pm, and we were stopped at some police roadblocks, but we managed to arrive at the bat place at around 5:00 pm, I was amazed that we could make it up to the place. However, to my surprise, there were policemen standing just there, in front of the bat place! We discuss with them but they would not want to allow us to do the recordings stating that we need permission from the local police department, because the various police department does not talk between each other, they do not have same rules. Also because we do not do provide any essential service around here, and do not belong to this area, we couldn’t record, and we went back empty. It is at the same time ridiculous, and a little frustrating; but all in all I’m still happy since I was able to go out and see different landscapes than staying at home. I will wait for more for the restrictions to be lifted, I don’t mind too much, I have much work inside the computer to achieve. Also, they announce that they will extend to June 21 the restrictions, I am not surprised as it represents the 5 weeks I was already predicting from the start. Maybe they extend more than that, but I bet they won’t, or they will allow some kind of business to run back again, while keep others closed. In any case, I am thinking to go to the East coast at Arugam bay, while waiting for all that to be settled down. Since I can go there with certified drivers, I might go this week, Thursday or Wednesday?! I don’t know yet. Driving through the countryside allowed me to see the situation and understand more. In fact in the villages many shops are open, and villagers freely walk and talk to each other, many without masks. I now understand better why the cases do not go down, even after more than 3 weeks of lockdown. I don’t know how the situation will head here. It is a little mess because officially all shops should be closed, but in reality, many are open, for example just a few meters from my place I saw to my surprise the grocery shop opened. I thought they were closed. Well, I might get better food products by myself then.

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