Sri Lanka 2007: fruits, elephants and woodcraft.

On November 9th, 2007 I have arrived to Sri Lanka for a congress and some sunshine. I was the only one flying from Prague, so I had to wait a couple of hours for the others, and then we finally set off to the furthest opposite side of town for the hotel. It was 2,5 star place, but decent, close enough to the beach, with a good breakfast and with great Ayurvedic oil and herbal massages available at the premises :).

One thing that puzzled me was that, instead of seagulls or something else equally fitting, some black birds were flying over the palm trees that sounded way too much like crows – a combination I had not yet experienced before. Besides the birds, 2 or 3 big roaches, a few of the tiny ants and several other animals inhabited the hotel premises but did not seem out of place as much as them crows or whatever they were…

This time of the year is one of the best for a visit: humidity is low so there is no “Singapore sauna” effect, and air is easily breathable. There are very few mosquitoes near the shore, although you shouldn’t bet on definitely having none. The sun is most active from about 10:30am till 1pm and then it becomes soft, although even at its peaks it burns you carefully, giving you enough time to notice and run for cover. The ocean actually feels like an ocean… I had been to the Indian ocean before on the Seychelles but there was no feeling of the vastness of the water body all around. An ocean most felt like one subjectively when I went to the Atlantic shore in Spain, to the Matalascanas village, and here on Sri Lanka it was very much of an ocean, too. Maybe it had to do with the specific wave movements… The waves, interestingly, were never high, never over 1,5 meters during the day, but extremely powerful nevertheless, the kind that you feel sucking you in towards the depth even when you’re standing just waist deep in the water. We had two full rest days to enjoy all of this and rest, and then came the congress…

Our group adventures were, thereby, over. The remaining few days were reserved for grilling on the beach of the hotel in Beruwala…

What completely baffled me about the hotel were the water containers standing on each table. Actually, not as much the containers as the little tags explaining what they were for. I cannot recite word for word but the meaning was the following: this was not drinking water. These containers were placed here for the purpose of preventing the flies from flying around the tables…

According to the tag, water acted as a lens, and grossly magnified movements of the flies and humans alike reflected in it. Thus, when a fly saw such image of a much bigger predator, it didn’t want to roam anywhere near that stuff and flew away in terror… It was cited as an ancient method used throughout Asian and African countries, friendly to the environment, unlike the repellents damaging to both the environment and humans… In my collection of ridiculous things seen with my own eyes this lovely but, unfortunately (judging by the fact that flies felt very comfortable on the tables despite the ‘scary’ water tanks) ineffective method will take its deserved place somewhere around the top :D.

This, my dear friends, was supposed to be the last memorable item from my trip to the blessed land (Sri Lanka)… Unfortunately, I managed to make everything MUCH more “exciting” for myself – but that is to be the subject of a separate blog entry 🙂.

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About in shade

A cocktail of personality traits hard to digest for some but ultimately soothing for those who can. I observe, enjoy, travel, interact, photograph, dance, contemplate, write and love my way through this life's countless occurrences. This blog is a way to share with the world and its people some of the treasures they give me every day.
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One Response to Sri Lanka 2007: fruits, elephants and woodcraft.

  1. Pingback: Sri Lanka 2007: the land of the impossible. | Travel tales

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