Friday, May 25, 2012

Eye Kandy

Despite receiving a typically bad first impression of taxi drivers in Sri Lanka when a driver charged me 100 rupees to retrieve my own bag from his vehicle (to be fair, I had left it on the seat and he'd had to drive back around the corner again to find me, but still - prick), and generally having to shoo away more relentless taxi touts than mosquitoes in this country, I gave them a second chance by arranging a tour of Kandy and the surrounding area with a more reputable driver.

I was hesitant because I don't feel comfortable having my own dedicated driver, the same way I don't like people serving me in restaurants (you can cook the food, but at least let me do the washing up). But I wanted to see as much as I could in as short a time as possible, so as with Siem Reap and Jeju Island I ticked off a week's worth of blog material in one day, giving myself plenty of free time to lie around in my pants reading novels about Benedictine monks and eating ginger nuts. Makes you wonder why I complain so much, doesn't it?

This was supposed to be a day tour, but because I'm an efficient, unfeeling android with no interest in lingering in places beyond the time it takes to collect sufficient photos to document their existence in this blog (and because I passed up the factory visits after experience in Egypt taught me most of this time would be spent politely declining samples in the stores) we were finished by lunchtime.

Sri Lanka

Vigilant Bahirawakanda Buddha makes sure Kandy's taxi drivers behave

Queens Hotel. Yeah, rub it in - I feel enough ancestral guilt in colonial countries already

Apartheid of the deceased at Commonwealth War Cemetery:
here are assorted Sri Lankan and Indian troops...

But here are the important British graves.
(This was pretty much how my Sri Lankan driver non-ironically advertised it)

Authentic steam roller. I wish it was operating, so I could have fun trying to onomatopeise its rickety sounds

I passed up the spice gardens and gem and fiberglass factories, but popped into the Ceylon Tea factory because, however much I protest, I'm English and I fancied a cup.
So here's some machinery that does something

Nice view from some indeterminate place my driver liked between Kandy and Pinnewala

Pleasant Kandy Lake

Temple of the Tooth

Morbid, dismembered relics of religious figures evidently aren't limited to the Catholic faith, but no one actually gets to see this reputed tooth of the Buddha

They keep the relic in a secure box, presumably to protect it from that thieving Tooth Fairy or maybe to cover up the fact that it's an obvious lie
(Image: Tsem Rinpoche)

I meant to take more photos of one of the most important temples in the Buddhist world,
but got distracted

This is a pretty nice complex where people of different faiths can become one in their mutually incompatible ideologies

Thank God the British brought the proper religion with them. It's just a shame they were comparatively lax in saving the souls of Sri Lanka's heathen population when they had the chance - the Spanish could teach them a thing or two about that

Looks like someone had a change of heart

1 comment:

  1. Unless you have a different screen resolution to me, it looks a little like the image at the top of this blog is a window, and the background picture is just carrying on.

    That accidentally looks pretty good, and a lot better than anything I've ever put time and effort into.