Sri Lanka was a traumatised dishevelment. I was shadowed by spooks everywhere I travelled. When I exited the tourist path police came, stated "elephants" then drove me back to my hotel, spooks driving in a white Honda Grace car were never far behind. Due to financial difficulties I overstayed my visa, my brother hung up the phone as flesh flies were eating me alive.
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Arriving at the Bandaranaike International Airport I approached the visa desk, the man behind the counter expected dollars (because the Sri Lanka currency isn't worth much) but I replied I'd already converted my money before I left India. Receiving my visa stamp, I wondered if he knew, that I had recognized him as the presidents' brother. I found him direct and correspondent, felt warm to his presence but this became defused by cold irony of my obnoxiousness of Sri Lankas spiraling debt situation with China. Never mix politics with religion, I thought, least with the usury cruelty of an undignified mammon.
The airport was not in Colombo, and there was no real way out of the airport other than via a taxi. After walking through Colombos streets nearing midnight I found a cheap hotel and managed to book myself into a room for the night.
I had a lot of interaction with Sri Lanka Tamil people in London so was overwhelmingly hesitant with a daring approach to seeing this country I'd heard so much talk about. From physicality I wanted to know why Tamil refugees had been pushed out of their homeland.
Colombo's Murugan Kovil was the first visit, I paid the tourist entrance fee and walked about. Sri Lankan / Dravidian Hinduism is deep, and heavy on the senses; and in rigid formality less embracing of European peoples, but I found the kovil civil and slightly deeper than face value.
The garish Colombo Lotus Tower was impressive in view of the slum landscape surrounding it. I was approached by an inquisitive, but slightly deranged, youth who wanted to know why I'd visited Sri Lanka.
Jet lagged and requiring rest I found another hotel in the afternoon.
And made a soap sud mess of the tiny bathroom via washing my clothes.
I found the first day a little unhidged and mildly crazy, I knew through a dystopic impression that this was to be the begining of a daunting journey.
The Theravada Buddhism here was strangely electric, and in apperance seemed to contrast with Jainism I'd found in Gujarat, but devotees here were very different. How could a school of elders be misled by the childhood spirit of Communism, I pondered.
Into Colombo I arrived in fair condition, the scale of poverty inclined me to hide the small amount gold jewellery I carried.
The upright stature of the overbearing buildings couldn't reach bend to the undignified despondence I felt from this disheveled city, the stagnated water below, hazed, possessed no reflective clarity.
The Gangaramaya (Vihara) Buddhist Temple was impressive, but I walked by, choosing to visit another time.
Finding Colomobo's bus depot I took a ride via State Transport to Kandy and walked into a Murugan Kovil.
I found Ganapathy, seated in front of his veichle, a rat.
I did find ascetic beauty here, through reflective shards of a terrorised and traumatised country, dislodged from a thirty-year-long civil war. Kandy lake was calming but I could not find solace in knowning two Ahimsa religions, Hinduism and Buddhism had mass murdered each other.
Sunburn quickly developed, from the redness I knew this journey would be enamouring with fortitude, deprivation induced from suffering depersonalisation. Exploring this sub-tropical environment, with no travel plans, no hotel booked, as a vagrant, not unlike the Buddha. I believe SriLanka was his first port of call from India.
I made regular visits to Kandy's Murugan Kovil, requesting undaunted transit through forthcoming obstacles.
Crossed a river walking into Kandy, from a cheap hotel I booked out of town.
Visited a Buddhist Kovil, flagged over a tut tut and travelled into town.
Great view of Kandy lake from up here.
After noticing Sri Lankans walking to wherever on railway tracks I found a cafe and enjoyed bundi laddo with Rosie.
Walked into some mosiac art and a disposessed man inebriated with alcholol. Intoxication is big problem for both Sri Lankans and Indians.
Arrived in Jaffa, disappointed with state of disfunctional hotel room.
Attempted to get some air from a nailed down window, then glared at my suicidal scars.
Northern Sri Lanka was simmering with Communist evils, but shifted focus on all the cool retro vehicles.
Found another Murugan Kovil and also a friendly Shiva Kovil.
Kovils were painted with red and white vertical stripes during the civil war, to avoided being shelled.
Flowers were beautifl in Sri Lanka, and I found a charming Ganapathy Kovil near Nalir Kovil.
Enjoyed a tasty masala dosai in spotless Nalir restuarant.
Took a picture of my gold earings as they had to be sold, my funds ran out.
On the way to the Jewellers, I walked into a dead puppy.
Acquired the assistance of Murtumari Amman before entering the Jewellers.
Walked to the coastline, and rested by a fort.
Coast was eeiry, empty yet distraught.
Found a cleaner hotel room; the plastic chairs hightened anxieties from being tortured with ETC machine back in Ganhinagar by Internal State Security operating within sector 14 during 2007.
In the evening I found darshan at a small Mutumari Kovil.
Cool rustless retro car.