You kindly followed me through ten days of travel pictures, guessing where each one might be. I thought I’d put you out of your collective miseries/make you punch the air with a ‘Yes, I was right’ with a follow up.
Day Five was
Hethersett in Sri Lanka. The Hethersett I know is a small strip of a town that hugs the A47 ring road around Norwich, because it is home to some very dear friends and is next to where my Mother in law lived for about ten years. The Sri Lanka version is a few miles from Kandy, deeply ingrained with its tea plantations. It’s warm, but not too hot; damp, but not so much that it stops the sweat coming out; and very poor. We stayed there in January 2013 as part of a family holiday that began in Colombo and ended in Galle and proved, once again, that the civilisations that built the palaces and reservoirs and discovered the life enhancing properties of silver tipped first pickings were light years ahead of we in the west who were still wondering why we stopped to drink our hot water and milk at four p.m. while dreaming of the invention of the teabag.
I’ve not posted about Sri Lanka before but this post from 2015, when we visited the Outer Hebrides, referenced Sri Lanka in a poem on the universal blind spot that we all have when confronted, on our last day of our holidays, with a gift shop.
The Tourist’s Last Day – The Sounds Of Harris
As we waited for the ferry back across the Sound of Harris, I browsed a gift shop. Would the Hebrides be different from other holiday destinations? The Textiliste had bought yarn. Could I resist the lure of one final memento? Was my choice a subliminal reaction to our upcoming ferry crossing?
In gift shops around the world, the treasures there are legion:
Name tags, mugs, flags unfurled, they all define the region.
Many things you’re sure to find, when tourists begin to roam,
With cash in hand and half a mind, to buy something to take home.
Like, let’s say, the local booze, which tastes so good, and’s duty-free
It would be churlish to refuse, to take a bottle home, or three.
There will be somewhere, on a rack, in sets of square-shaped plastic
Examples of local musak, that sun drenched ears believe fantastic.
The Hebrides conforms to type, like France, Sri Lanka everywhere
A smiley face, melodic tripe, that once back home brings on despair.
Hereabouts it’s the bloody pipes, accompanied by a tweed ensemble
Which frankly gives me the gripes, and nothing tuneful it resembles.
It’s not that I bear any grudge to this nation by its songs
But if I’d been a better judge, I’d have bought those tartan thongs.