Exploring Colombo While Volunteering in Sri Lanka

Exploring Colombo While Volunteering in Sri Lanka
Ayubowan family, friends and strangers!
So last time I blogged my travels, I got a little carried away and wrote quite extensive notes on my day-to-day activities. This time I have vowed to be more concise and not bore all of you wonderful people with the in-depth details. Here begins…
As soon as I arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka on October 31st I knew I was going to love this country. The runway is lined with beautiful coconut trees and other tropical plants, an indication of the warm, humid climate. Exiting the airport I was hit with a wall of humidity, which quickly turned to pouring rain. Luckily this didn’t last too long and by the time I reached my hostel, the Downtown Monkey, the weather had cleared. I was greeted by a sweet Sri Lankan lady who ran the place and offered me tea, and other travellers of various nationalities. I spent the next two days exploring Colombo with my newfound friends from Switzerland, Germany and France. I should also say I spent that Saturday night drinking beers and feeling disappointed watching the Aus-NZ rugby world cup final.
Colombo is like most big cities – busy, dirty, smelly – but it definitely has character. The streets are lined with shops selling everything from lottery tickets, nuts and snacks, fruit and vegetables to laundry detergent. Everything is hectic and chaotic, especially the roads…it is quite a lot like India in that sense. Like most big cities, you can only spend so much time there.
The waterfront at Colombo
I’m extremely curious as to what these poisonous species are…
The food here in Sri Lanka is absolutely delicious, consisting of curry, daal, roti, curd and other random things that I don’t actually know the name of. It’s hilarious and interesting because every time you go into a place and order food, there’s a high chance you aren’t going to get what you want. Generally I have been asking for rice or roti with vegetables. The staff will then bring out a selection of different curries with rice/roti, and if you’re lucky it will actually be vegetables, not meat. One of my favourite foods is this little folded triangle roti filled with curried vegetables, it is so delicious!
The hygiene of the food and drink is also questionable, but you’ve just got to embrace it. On my second night my friend, Gabriel and I were offered tea, and I noticed something floating in it – a little fly. I tried to pull it out with my finger, only to notice that there were a couple more. I then saw Gabriel swishing his finger around his tea too. ‘Extra protein’ he said, and continued to drink it. I was later told that most places give you some paper to put over the top to filter the flies out, haha!
A combination of vegetable curries that were delicious, and cost around $7 in total for four people
That same night Gabriel and I got caught up in a conversation with four Sri Lankan men who were enjoying the local alcoholic beverage, arrack, over some food. They were excited to have us to talk with, and told us many strange things and also asked us many strange questions. One of the men was pleased to tell me he liked my hair and my eyebrows, and was insistent that I never change either. Probably one of the weirdest compliments I have received, yet a compliment nonetheless. Another of the men who was quite intoxicated was giving Gabriel and I life lessons which made absolutely no sense. ‘Imagine this glass is God, now boom the glass…gone…glass…now…?’ Sorry mate, I really have no idea what you are getting at here – perhaps the moral of the story was something about faith? The one thing I did kind of get a grasp on was his saying he repeated over and over again to us. ‘Now, one thing you need to know’ for the fifth time ‘A thousand days enjoy, one day think. Money go round and round, man go underground’. After many times of hearing it I had analysed it pretty well…I think I can go with that one, it’s a pretty nice concept.
Anyway, I said I’d keep this short so I’m going to love you and leave you there. Hopefully you’ve been able to get a nice little image of Sri Lanka thus far. I’m having a fantastic time and am excited to continue exploring and experiencing everything this fantastic country has to offer.

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