More Observations from Backpacking Across Sri Lanka

  • Riding a motorcycle along the Sri Lankan countryside
    Riding a motorcycle along the Sri Lankan countryside

    While walking down a street, a man on the back of a motorcycle held out the box he was carrying to purposely hit me with it.

  • I had a steak for the first time in nearly four months. It was just as good as I remembered.
  • Whenever we know that we are about to do something that won’t make a local happy, which usually involves not tipping someone who offered us unsolicited info at a temple because we have no more money, we tell them we are from Canada…because they always ask.
  • I was just trying to see if the bar would sell me french fries for Carrie at the Colombo airport for 40 rupees less than the price, because that’s all we had. After asking if she was pregnant, to which I replied “no, she just really likes french fries,” it started a whole saga of checking different eateries before the guy at the bar just gave me the 40 rupees to go get them at a cheaper place. So embarrassing, but we got the overpriced and undercooked fries! 😛
  • The shard of shredded metal that almost pierced the bus under my feet
    The shard of shredded metal that almost pierced the bus under my feet

    During a bus ride, Carrie and I heard a loud bang, then the sound of a metal piece banging under our feet. We were sitting right under the tire and felt the metal piece hitting our feet, but for some reason didn’t move. When we finally saw the shredded shard that could have come jutting through the floorboard, we realized how lucky we were to still have our legs.

  • We were woken up to the sounds of vicious dog fights outside our front door every morning in Ella.
  • We saw souvenir vendors carrying their wares in their hands swarm over a group of young students on a class trip to try and make a few rupees.
  • We ate food so disgusting at Adam’s Peak that a dog wouldn’t even eat our leftovers.
  • When telling people where we are from in India, we say USA. In Sri Lanka they often don’t understand that so we say America. To which they usually reply, “OH! AMERICA!”
  • Tuk tuk and taxi drivers just don’t understand why we would ever want to walk anywhere.
  • Cows outside the Kiri Vihara Dagoba in Sri Lanka
    Cows outside the Kiri Vihara Dagoba in Sri Lanka

    When walking back from a waterfall outside Ella we were offered a lift by a local in a car, to which we said no as we wanted to walk. He told us it was far and when we continued to say no he asked us if we were afraid. Classic.

  • I got my first ever Aurvedic massage in Ella. It was basically an hour of them rubbing oil all over me with no pressure. The best was when the thing was done I had to put on my clothes again and stain them to hell with the massage oil. Interesting experience, but no repeats thank you.
  • One of the most expensive plates of food we got in Sri Lanka was in Ella. It was a plate of spaghetti advertised as having olives…in reality it had one single olive sliced up as thinly as possible and spread over the whole plate.
  • Local workers earn around $7-8 for a day of manual labor in the fields
  • Sri Lanka is very clean…especially when compared to India
  • In India we often had to use very slow and stilted English to communicate with locals. We still have to do that in Sri Lanka, but not as often and we can speak a bit faster.
  • A local bus in Tissa actually refused our business and drove off after confirming that it was going where we wanted to go.
  • We didn’t see a McDonalds the whole time in Sri Lanka…until the bus ride to the airport to head out.
  • I travel with a little laptop that had Windows get corrupted a few days into our time in Sri Lanka. I could have just done a factory restore, but that would mean losing lots of photos, which was unacceptable. Making matters harder was the fact that the laptop is super-portable and light, which means no CD drive. Over the next few weeks I must have stopped in half a dozen shops, spent hours researching fixes on the Internet and tried everything I could think of. No one could help me. I even bought a case to take the hard drive out and try to connect it to another computer to back up my files. Even that didn’t work. I left Sri Lanka ready to just give up, but Carrie wouldn’t let me just yet and thank goodness she was so persistent. I took it to one shop in Bangkok and they had it up and running, free of charge, within 30 minutes.
  • The fans that hang from the ceilings in our guesthouses are often terrifying. As they spin the entire fan and ceiling shakes and we just lay there wondering if this is the night that one finally breaks off and comes down into the bed with us.