I just slurped away a massive amount of tea with tea buyers in Sri Lanka and am now -finally- on my way to the tea plantations.
I adjust myself nicely in the back of a Jeep, together with my camera, GoPro and an awful lot of bloc notes. Whenever I travel, I try to write about it while sitting in the back of a cab, car or tuk-tuk. All have proved remotely impossible, but Sri Lanka is literally impossible. There’s no ‘remote’ to it. Just impossible. They drive crazy here. Trying to frantically adjust to the other drivers, my chauffeur has no other choice than to drive just like them! Unless we have a death wish. Which I don’t. Normally I don’t even mind all the ‘Fast and Furious’ driving, but this just tops it all. All the different drivers here make the main road in Kathmandu look like the A4 highway! There’s trucks, cars, jeeps, busses, tuk tuks, bikes, motorbikes, people and dogs.. All on ONE road. I repeat for emphasis: ONE ROAD. Without a line in between opposite traffic ways. The unspoken rule seems to be that if there’s space somewhere, you all try to fit into that tiny space to move along with the traffic. The bikes and tuk tuks especially drive like crazy here, passing you from all sides, even though you’re supposed to drive on the left side of the road.
the smell of disposals on a hot summery day
I feast my eyes upon the sights passing me! Along the road there must be about 101 different kinds of shops. From fruit to inflatable toys, you will surely find what your heart was searching for over here! I open my window and warm air filled with the fragrance of spices, petrol and sweet overripe fruit fills the car. The smells I’m describing sound really similar to how your disposal smells on a hot summery day, but this time I’m happy to be met by it. Maybe because it's also the smell of travel. I try to enjoy it while it lasts.
dj while driving
Slowly we drive out of Colombo, and there seems to be more breathable oxygen here. The fog and dust in Colombo is extreme, within one day I looked like a car mechanic who had decided to wipe his hands on his face after his shift. While the roads get smaller and worse, we race on. We literally pass every single car, one being while in a loop. It’s feels like a rollercoaster, haha. So far, so good. I trust the driver because he seems to be experienced. Now we’re talking about the driver, let me get one thing off my chest: he looks so much like Lee Towers! But brown. Gigantic glasses, the same face; it could’ve easily been his Asian twin brother. He has also taken it upon himself to be the DJ, or actually, a VDJ. The DVD player in the car matches each track to its visuals. Did I mention that this is happening while we’re driving.. On the road? So while you’re taking a turn, and the CD with a live concert of Celine Dion has finished, you somehow have to straighten out your priorities, and change the CD first. It sounds less dangerous on paper, trust me.
Life-threatening yet so entertaining. He’s a real fan of the Bee Gees (!), and we happily sing along, the three of us. There’s much fun here, which makes the trip so much nicer. Let’s sing and swing our way to tea! Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive. Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive.
This blog is about No.053 - Ceylon