So here I am at a free internet station in Colombo Airport waiting for my flight back to Bangkok and it is time to say farewell to wonderful Sri Lanka. Farewell to the curry and rice with those traditional accompaniments. Farewell to babies on buses and women passengers squeezing between my open thighs and bags of rice and knapsacks thrust onto my lap and conductors weaving down crowded buses like lissome snakes and horns hooting. Farewell to the awesome temple mountain of Sigiriya and to the long white beach at Nilavelli. Farewell to tuk tuk drivers driving me mad as they touted relentlessly for business. Farewell to "Lion" lager and to "Three Coins" and arrack and to tropical fruit breakfasts and pots of fresh Ceylon tea with jugs of hot milk. Farewell to sweat oozing from every pore. Farewell to souvenir sellers and to the genuine smiles of ordinary people who welcomed me to their country and engaged me in hundreds of unexpected conversations. Farewell to the lush greenery and the paddy fields and to swimming at Unawatuna and Jungle Beach. Farewell to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth in Kandy and to the man who beat designs on sheets of brass, to the fire eaters and the traditional dancers and to the monkey troops and to the dogs who waged war against the monkeys like Tamil Tigers. And farewell to Chamith and Wasana and Sadali and Kumara and to Hasin and Shani and Bertie. Farewell Sri Lanka - I shall never forget you and maybe - who knows - I may return... one day. Thanks for everything.
|The Fort, Galle|