This Census Thing

The census people finally paid me a visit and it happened to be past nine in the evening. I busy doing some work on my laptop, happily lounging around in my shorts and a faded tank top when I heard a knock on the door. I thought it might be just the neighbour with a message or something but it turned out to be this young lady with an old lady on guard duty and so I let them in, shoved my books aside and prepared myself for the interrogation. I kept wishing that I was wearing something more substantial like a t-shirt and maybe some underwear. Going commando in this heat is awesome, but it’s a little unnerving when you have two women staring at you.

I suppose this census thing would help the government know what is happening but it still felt like I was getting a colonoscopy. They asked me where I am from, what I am doing now, whether I had studied in the previous month (uh?). They asked me if I had a tap inside the house (confused me for a moment there), whether I had a bathroom inside the house (almost said, ‘no, I just use the balcony’), what the walls were made of (no clue. wall stuff?), if I had a tv, radio, how many computers  I had. She also asked me if I could write a letter in Sinhalese, and then we had a discussion about just how much Sinhalese I need to know for her to mark it down.

She had maybe 5 or 6 pages worth of stuff to fill, but we filled only about 4 in the end, for which I was very grateful. I felt a bit bad for her because she had to trudge around every house in that area to fill her forms, but I still feel vaguely abused.


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