Here I am sipping a hot cup of Dilmah tea on a gloomy afternoon. I know for sure that It will take a while before I start writing in lengthy narrative about my Sri Lanka trip. I'm still simmering the wonderful memories on my mind. It's been quite a year so far, after India I have no idea I would double-up on it with a follow-up trip to this beautiful tear-drop shaped nation brimming with cultural and historical wealth, capped off by its friendly people. Other than the 5 kilos of tea which I brought home, I am more grateful to amassing a new set of perception that finally replaced the image of the brutal civil war I used to associate with Sri Lanka.
Traveling is all about educating one's self. I learned a tremendous lot during my almost 2 week solo trip here. I remember all of my senses being at high, while fueled by the burning desire of exploring every nook and cranny of the ancient cities of Kandy, Sigiriya, Dambulla and Polonnaruwa. I have a lot of stories to tell the readers of this blog, but right now is not yet the right time to write about all of it. I would give it a shot to summon creative mojo on a daily or weekly basis in order to finally kickstart the Sri Lanka narratives.
But I don't want you to wait for that for some inspiration. If you could find a way there now. Then there's no better time than packing your backpack and heading there pronto. I remember my train ride to Kandy from Colombo. I arrived at the train station after lunch time, dead hour of the day wherein everyone seems all down for a nap. The people at the station were outnumbered by the ravens and doves flying around. 45 minutes later when the train rolled over the tracks, hundreds of rushing bodies came out of nowhere. Their scampering thuds were enough to get me moving hard and fast. I went for the door - almost got squashed, and inside a smiling stranger held my hand and ushered me to the window seat - "sit there so you can looking looking at the view". While I walked towards the seat, the people around me seem to stop and as I look around I see nodding heads and brimming smiles.
That's Sri Lanka for me, more than its UNESCO World Heritage Sites and historic ancient cities, its the people that endeared to me. I felt like I was in the provinces in the Philippines where the people are easy going and unmindful of first-world-aspiration problems, where genuine courtesy and friendliness prevail still. The train ride to Kandy provided me with an unforgettable scenery, but the gesture of my fellow passengers (as well as the numerous help I got when I found myself lost), as weary and tired they were, is something I will remember more.
Ayubowan Sri Lanka,