• Robbie Curtis

#8 - Why Not?

Updated: Mar 23, 2020

On the night of my short stop-over in Tissa I found myself entertaining five Swedish girls at the hostel. This was not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, but unfortunately they had all just come from Why Not Hostel in Mirissa, and they looked completely out for the count. If this is what three nights in the place could do to people, I was pushing my luck in aiming to stay for five. On their way out they asked me one simple favour, to say hi to Marcus from them, Why Not’s Swedish bartender.

As it turned out, it didn’t take me long to become acquainted with Marcus. I arrived at the hostel at midday on the Wednesday to an already ramped-up party atmosphere. I gravitated towards Sarah – yes, I was following her round Sri Lanka – in the hope of a quiet introduction to the place. Sarah, however, had other ideas. She shouted ‘spin the wheel’ as soon as I had set foot in the outside bar, and with that my fate was sealed (I wouldn’t be surprised if Sarah now shouts ‘spin the wheel’ in her sleep, the party animal). I landed upon number 6 – kiss the bartender – and before I knew it Marcus was making his way over the bar towards me, slightly too eagerly for comfort.

Marcus was handsome, with long hair and a habit of snogging everything that moved. I later asked him what percentage homosexual he would describe himself, to which he replied: ‘40%. I would never f*ck a guy, because I can’t f*ck something I respect’.

Anyway, he went all in for a frenchy and I stood there just long enough to avoid boos before prizing myself away. And with that the initiation was complete.

Wednesday’s choice of party destination was a giant bar/club called The Doctor’s House. It was bring-your-own-booze, so I split a bottle of vodka with the two Canadians I had shared a tuk tuk with. I lost them pretty early on however, so ended up carrying 70cl of spirits with me most of the night. What tends to happen when you mix alcohol with people you’ve met only hours before is that you wake up the next morning completely unaware of what new friends you’ve made and how you got home, which is precisely what happened on this occasion.

The following morning I stocked up on chocos cereal and starting cooking bread over the hob with Sarah, accepting that the days of cultured eating were temporarily on hold. I did however make it my mission to hit the beach at some point in the day, ending up lounging away a beautiful evening as the sun dipped below a bed of palm trees. Marcus of course had found me by this point, so we consummated our budding bromance with a joint napping sesh before making our way back to basecamp.

Friday had a different surprise in store. It was cross-dressing night. I ended up donning a skimpy red dress courtesy of Sarah, complete with two stuffed t-shirts and a push-up bra. The Yorkshire lass wearing my shirt lasted around ten minutes before going too hard and using it as a tissue in bed. Once we’d set off I got talking to this girl from Kazakhstan and we enjoyed a nice beach walk together. It soon became clear however that she was less than impressed with my outfit, and in a bid to prove to her that I wasn’t actually a transvestite I ended up removing my costume in front of tables full of tourists just trying to enjoy their cocktails in peace. The night ended soon after.

Above: Re-united with Rachael and Sarah (and Sarah's dress). Below: first Roman Emperor to wear fake nike sliders

Not deterred by these events I was straight back on the horse for Saturday night’s festivities, this time taking the shape of a toga party. The beer bongs were coming thick and fast but at this stage it was becoming an overwhelming effort to get drunk. I ended up not really managing it, and was just about to call it quits for the night when a Danish girl came along. And so it was that 24 hours after the previous party I was back on the beach with another girl in what was becoming my favourite stomping ground. This time there was some brief romance under the stars, it’s just a shame she liked techno so much that she was more interested in getting back on the dancefloor.

All that remained to complete the booze-filled extravaganza was the infamous Why Not Sunday boat party. The drinking had, typically, begun by late-morning and we were flooding on board by 12. This time I was even more sober and less enthusiastic about the carnage that was unravelling on the lower deck in front of me, despite Marcus’s best efforts to make me down my drinks as soon as they touched my right hand. We ended up circling round the same spot of water multiple times, and in the end we all jumped overboard to continue the drinking on an idyllic private beach. The bikini-clad stunners were out in full force, but did I talk to any of them? Not a chance. Someone had brought a football.

And with that – both physically and emotionally hanging – the craziness was over. Mirissa had indeed proven its status as the Maga of Sri Lanka, and I could describe the five nights as wholly unforgettable, but I’d of course be lying.

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