Sri Lanka - Here I come

Trip Start Sep 19, 2012
1
46
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Trip End Jul 22, 2014


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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I haven't given much though or planning to travel in Sri Lanka and it has been a bit of a spur of the moment decision. I arrived in Colombo after a one hour flight from Kochi, India, Why do feel so nervous going through customs? Maybe too many episodes of "Banged up Abroad"! Passed through immigrations and customs with no problems and everyone is helpful and lots of smiley faces. Grabbed a map from the tourist desk and learned a few facts about the Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka.

Area 65 500 sqkm
Coastline 1340 km (small)
Population 21 million
Literacy 92% ( Awesome)
National Bird  Jungle Fowl (Looks just like a chicken)
Has 8 UNESCO World Heritage sights.

I have arranged to spend a couple of nights with a Couchsurfing family in Colombo. After catching two buses, following their strange directions, getting lost and walking for miles I eventually arrived at Dimitri and Joannes' house. It is a large 3 storey house filled with furniture and boxes and piles of clothes and 'stuff" everywhere. They have 3 small boys all under 5 years old and 4 dogs. The upper floor is not yet complete and looks like an abandoned building site. Dimitri shows me to my bedroom which has a large wooden four poster bed and the rest of the room and cupboards are also piled with clothes, books, bits of furniture, plastic bags stuffed with things and generally all piled on top of each other. There is an on suite bathroom that is not very clean. Dimitri tells me to make sure that all the windows and doors are kept closed as they have a problem with RATS!!

After a lovely home cooked meal of beef and cauliflower stew with various side dishes we wer chatting in the lounge when I hear a noise under the armchair. Rats! Dimitri chases them out and see 2/3 rats scurrying out the door..

After a good nights sleep and a traditional breakfast of lentils and chickpeas Joanne has great pleasure in informing me that lasts night beef was actually tongue. What ever it tasted bloody great. Spent the morning planning out my itinerary. there is so much to see an do it takes me most of the morning to plan a rough route. Another great lunch with fish curry, potato curry and little fried crunchy fish. Really like the flavours and spices of Sri Lankan food. The house is absolute bedlam with kids running around screaming, parents yelling at kids and dogs barking that I decide to take a walk into town. I ask my hosts where to go and they tell me there is nothing to see or do in Colombo. I spent a few hours walking around and the first thing that I notice is how clean the streets are. Everyone greets me and smiles and when I stop somewhere and chat they all seem friendly. The main conversation is about cricket. Strange that Hansi Cronje is their biggest hero. Colombo is like any modern city, with all the western shops and the ubiquitous array of fast foods like KFC, Pizza hut etc

After I returned from my walk I am invited to join the family for dinner. Except instead of sitting around the dining room table we are eating in the family bedroom. This is where the whole family sleeps in a crowded room. We sit on the beds and eat a tasty chicken curry. The kids are jumping on the beds and spill food on already dirty sheets . No wonder there are fucking rats.

After dinner I head off to my room only to discover that a rat has chewed through my bag to get a some soap that I had bought earlier. Hardly slept at all as all I could hear were rats scuttling around. Think I am out of here tomorrow


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Comments

GabonPhil on

Gus,

Based on this blog, this is a time to shell out for a proper hotel :-).

Those awful rats might be nibbling on you in the night! Any hungry looking stray cats you can bring into your room tonight?

I’m enjoying your stories, keep them coming.

Regards,

Phil.

simon S. on

Go Guss,

read "King Rat" by James Clavell.
you can start a business.

keep up the reports boet.

Cherry Grieveson (storey) on

OMW Gus ..... Sounds like you are in Rat City !!!!
My Durban North suburban home & life sounds quite posh now !
Travel Safe

Lu on

Seriously! Lucky your meal was only made with tongue!

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