Monday, May 7, 2012
The Land of Serendipidty. 7th May 2012 Having only got to bed at 11:30 the night before, imagine the feeling, waking up to what seemed to be the roof falling on your head, at two in the morning! What a storm..it really sounded as though we were under a tin roof, as we could hear the rain crashing down. Actually we are on the twenty fifth floor of a building which consists of thirty floors .... So that tells of the immensity of the storm! Soon the alarms from our cell phones were ringing, to add to the cacophony as we were to be up early to be ready for the arrival of the cab at 3:45. We were off to Sri Lanka for a two week visit. This turned out to be one of the less pleasant flights, as we had a little boy sitting near us, who just screamed and screamed and screamed. He pulled at his mother, virtually begging her to get him off the plane. All the surrounding Grannies felt sorry for him and clicked and clucked but a lady next to me showed her hand and said" this is what he needs" a good smack. Quite a surprise in this day and age. Half an hour into the trip when his voice had started cracking up ( and us too) he began to settle down and accept defeat. We were all so relieved once there was quiet and we too could have a nap! The buses in S.R. are rickety, rackety old vehicles and the only air conditioning are the open windows. Once in Colombia, we found the second link to take us to Galle. All public buses have a driver, a conductor who collects the fare and a "caller" who waves his arms at all the Stops and shouts out, encouraging more passengers to come on board. The bus always starts off very comfortably with everyone seated but in India and in Sri Lanka, a bus is never too full to fit even more passengers. By the time we were half way though our four hour journey, the bus was crammed full, and the driver became manic and drove as though there was no tomorrow. Warren was sitting just behind him and could not believe that this crazy fellow could overtake in the face of oncoming BUSES!!! These are single lane roads with people, bicycles, animals etc. lining the sides of the roads, but he seemed to be oblivious to it all and ploughed ahead I had bums in my face, bags hitting me on the head, arm pits to cope with as the people were jammed in and THEN..... The little girl sitting on her Granny's knee started vomiting. It splashed and sprayed across the aisle hitting mostly young people standing around. Oh No. Granny had no packet at the ready, so what to do!!! Quick thinking and innovative, she grabbed her fold up brolley and turned it upside down, opened it just a little and forming a receptacle, she provided somewhere for her granddaughter to be sick in. These wonderful people of Sri Lanka rose to the occasion, with the maniacal driver continuing on his way and the bus turning and twisting, the people swaying and holding on for what could be their last trip anyway, they mopped themselves down, passed tissues and hankies to Granny, smiled and continued as if this was a regular occurrence. I confess I got the giggles!! Travel Tip One: Should you not have a packet on the ready and your child or grandchild starts to be sick, use your upturned umbrella!!! Needless to say it was wonderful to get to our Homestay in Galle.