ශ්‍රී ලංකා — a few thoughts


● 20 ●

We walked through a jungle. Giant bamboo and giant green leaves. The sounds of birdsongs loudly echoing between trees. Large vines tangled around the Jackfruit trees and all the other forest trees. The kind of vines Tarzan would swing on, but even bigger! Large groups of monkeys came towards our path, some minding their own business, others curious about us, wanting to play and probably steal the gopro. The dense vegetation buzzed with insect noise. Wandering through the trees alone, we crossed paths with a monk. His smile was gentle and his gaze soft. He slowly walked, calm, taking in the beauty around him. Our paths crossed a second time. He was just as gentle and patient in his stride. His orange robe complemented the green and earthy tones.


● 19  ●

We went on a walk today and had lunch in a small roadside restaurant. We ordered our food: rice with vegetable curry, fish curry and coconut roti, and went back behind the counter, through a tiny door, into a small dimly lit room. Inside, there were four metal tables, the walls had peeling beige and maroon-pinkish patterned wallpaper, a wooden roof with gaps through which bright light peeked in, a silent TV and a wall lined with crates of dusty glass bottled soft drinks. It felt relieving to come to a place away from the tourists that overcrowd the scenic town of Kandy. Inside there were a few guys watching the cricket match displayed on the TV, only one or two of of the men were eating. We sat, joined in watching the sport and ate. The food was delicious, spicy and inexpensive!

Walking home, to our airbnb, we winded up and down roads through coconut palm trees, jackfruit trees, papaya trees, mango trees, banana trees and trees with exotic colourful flowers. It had rained all night and most of the morning; the smell of wet earth was strong and sweet flower fragrances surrounded us. 


● 15 ●

As I sit here, on a gorgeous rooftop balcony just outside of our room, the rain is falling. It’s the heaviest rain I’ve been in for a long time. The wind is swaying the coconut palms, and flashes of light followed by loud grumbles in the clouds tremble the ground slightly. The air is warm and balmy, the sound of huge water drops hitting the earth and the surrounding buildings is so loud it’s taken over everything. The smells are divine. Thunderstorms are my favourite.

When the sun is out and the sky is blue, the streets are bustling with tuktuks and the smells of roti rolls invite you inside small eateries and bakeries. We buy king coconuts and stroll to the beach while sucking the water out of them. One of my favourite things here, in cafes, bus stands, shops, homes, is the use of minimalistic, brutalist, concrete structures. It’s quite beautiful.
The ocean water is warm and blue.