Have spent 4 days in Sri Lanka so far but it's felt longer cos we've done so much!
The moment we landed, we took off to the Hill country area in the middle of Sri Lanka.
Didn't even bother to stay in Colombo or anything,
we just wanted to be immersed in forest and make our way down to the South, then to the West in time to return for our flight home one week later.
I can't say we're backpacking...
we hired a driver and car for 260 Euros for the entire week
so we won't waste any time getting lost
nor get tired from driving long hours.
One week is simply not enough here!
We've just enough time to cover the middle and southern parts of Sri Lanka.
So far, the views we've seen are astoundingly beautiful.
I wholly understand why travelers we've met have raved about this country.
The only sad part is that because the nation is still getting over their civil war barely two years ago,
inflation has skyrocketed and
they're charging more than usual for guesthouses and food.
Prices for everything are divided into two - for the people of Sri Lanka, and the tourists.
We've even had a menu exchanged out of our hands because it wasn't stating the 'right' prices for us.
I have to say that accommodation is pricey compared to guesthouses in Indonesia, Thailand, China, Malaysia...
and lots of other things like ticket entrances to temples and world heritage sites are simply extortionate.
The experience is definitely worth it...
but i feel that if the country keeps inflating like this,
backpackers and travelers will be more inclined to try someplace else.
At times, i feel like people are just taking money money money from us.
The moment they see we're tourists, i can just see them calculating how much to charge us.
But besides the people whom we have to pay for services/food/etc,
the public, the PEOPLE here are absolutely beautiful.
They smile and smile and smile.
I see the poor women working in the rain plucking at fresh green leaves in the tea plantation,
and they smile at me.
I see the men standing in the rain waiting for the bus,
and they smile.
I see a man selling fruit in the middle of nowhere, really,
and he smiles so wide all i see are his teeth shining in the bright sunshine.
The universal language of the world are facial expressions.
And i find it so spiritually comforting that every person i've smiled at,
returns a smile twice as wide as mine!
It really is a beautiful feeling.
You could never do that in a city.
You smile at someone, and more often than not they think you're crazy/about to steal something from them.
I'd estimate that out of 50 people i smiled at here,
only 3 didn't smile back.
Two of those were in a dusty bus while i was smiling from an air con car (so i don't blame them)
and the third was a soldier who stared back at me flatly with beady black eyes.
I don't blame him either cos i think my life definitely has more sunshine and colour than his.
We went to a large waterfall today where Clem was enraptured for a good half hour
and i, by a toy store next to it.
(I saw a bigger waterfall the before so i'm spoilt that way haha)
On previous days, i've seen really poor children playing with nothing...
I saw a little boy playing with his slipper, so sad!
So i bargained like the Chinese i am,
and bought some toy cars from the store, to give out to children if i see them playing with nothing/alone.
I think i fancy myself as some sort of Santa Claus *layan diri*
Haven't given out any yet (i bought a box of 9 toy cars)
though i spotted one boy this afternoon.
Didn't give one to him cos i saw him hitting at three dogs with a piece of rope.
No toy car for you!
Okay have to go have dinner.
Am exhausted from playing in massive waves all evening (we're in Mirissa now).