“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Saturday, April 19, 2008

5 Things I love about Sri Lanka

5 Reasons I really love Sri Lanka

1. It’s tropical.
How can you not love the endless greenery and lushness especailly when it brings forth things like frogs in the shower, leaping lizards, and a temperature suited to sandals and summer. Okay, the consistent infernal sweating isn't so great, but that's why there is the hill country to escape to. Mosquitoes are also a downer. Did you know they truly love my thighs?

2. The friendly people.
Everyone wants to know where I'm from (they love NZ cricket!) and where I'm going (a bit more intrusive), and whether I need help (no so plesant). But the key here--they go away! Where else can I feel as confident as a single female explorer that they are truly genuine people, although I've also never felt like such a bitch for my rudeness.

3. It has beaches.
Ah glorious tropical oceans! White sand, black sand, snorkellign, surfing, whales, dolphins, diving. Even the tanks they have as local lakes for swimming in. What other country offers your lady's eye so many of the male population's sumptious tanned god-like muscles and shapely shoulders for your undie-clad, belt-off perusal?

4. It has history.
No other tropical place has so many and so different ancient cities and monuments from different eras. Also, it has been significant in history: from Queen Elizabeth II’s house to ancient mildew buildings, antique furniture, the colonial feeling to being a WWII base.

5. Tea!!!
Just how I like it—milky, and well brewed without bitterness. It’s locally grown on historical bungalow style plantations. If anywhere was the home of tea, this is. It’s Ceylon after all, they named tea after this place. Earl Grey, Lipton, they all got their starts from English lords here!

If that doesn't convince you, there's always the shopping opportunities for batiks and wood carvings, with not too many touts to annoy you. There are not many tourists and it isn't crowded like India can be. The food is great, similar to Indian. It is the center of the world (look at it on a map!) with a Mediterranean feel (the Portuguese established the lovely tiled roofs, for example). It’s Buddhist but they have religious diversity and a semblance of respect despite war, although of course they, like us all, could do a better job.

Just to be fair, it's not perfect. Here are some things that I didn't
1. War and therefore intolerance
2. Poverty
3. Far away & isolated (yet it’s the center of the world!)
4. An island at the end of the world
5. I can’t go everywhere
6. Some prices are high

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