Falling for Sri Lanka

I headed out early this morning at the crack of dawn to meet up with some new friends for tea, who I met at the local Sri Lanka Laundromat. I walked up to the main road to catch a Tuk Tuk (3-wheeler taxi) into Colombo.

My fellow commuter.

The first 3-wheeler to arrive had a young boy, in a nice pressed shirt, sitting in the back. The driver told me that if he could drop off his grandson at school first, he would then take me to my destination for half the price. I hopped in and found myself commuting, Sri Lanka style.

Once I arrived at the temple area I realized they had already had the tea or skipped it all together. I’m still confused as to what happened, but there was no tea. I was somewhat relieved. I have big plans the next few days and this lessens my chances of getting travelers sickness from their water.

So with no tea I just ended up spending some more time walking around and meeting some new and some familiar people from my trip there yesterday.

I photographed a few street scenes and then I came across 4 women who were sitting in four chairs. They sat in the dirt road in-between some of the barracks, were I assumed they lived. They looked as if they gathered here daily to talk about their life, work, and kids.

I approached them and quickly found out that none of them spoke English. So I started making gestures in a way that says I would like to take their picture. One of them waves both her hands in front of her face and they all start laughing. She didn’t want her picture taken for what ever reason. I flashed them a fun and disappointing look. One reluctantly agrees to let me photograph her and her daughter. I think the peer pressure from the others sealed the deal.

Mother and Daughter in Colombo.

I start to kneel down and I fall slightly off balance forcing me to reach out in front to catch myself. They all start laughing, again. I regain balance and then I motion moves suggesting that I’ve been drinking, and they laugh again. I quickly shake my head that I was kidding. I’m not sure they bought it. I took a few frames and thanked them and carried on my way.

It was great to see four friends sitting around having a laugh. Every time they saw me after that they would point and smile real big.

After feeling that I was starting to overstay my welcome I headed out. I found myself having brunch at Galle Face Hotel looking out over the ocean. I decided to head back to the house to start planning tomorrows trip south to Unawatuna, Galle, and Hikkaduwa.

While I check my maps and train schedule I keeping thinking of those women laughing at me and how they will probably tell the story of the day when the drunk white American strolled through town one day. I just laugh.

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