Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Soon in Sri Lanka

27 April 2010
Phuket, Thailand

In the spirit of my new blog approach, which includes the concept of ‘broadcasting’ that Fiona recently pointed out, I am telling you in real time what I am doing.

It’s 5:33pm and I’m waiting for my taxi driver to pick me [bxA] up for a rush hour journey to the north of the island so I can get on an Air Asia flight to Kuala Lumpur, where I’ll have six hours to kill before my flight to Colombo, Sri Lanka.

I’m meeting my friend Derek in Colombo, but he’s a few days delayed so I’ll be alone until Saturday.

Today my life seems not my own. Traveling is weird sometimes. Today was like any other day but with the tasks of packing a backpack and getting a few details in order to get on a plane. It occurs to me that there was a time I’d be nervous or even panicked about going to such an off-the-beaten-path kind of place – especially alone. There was a time I would have researched it and assessed the dangers and made lists and bought stuff.

I did check the visa requirements advance, but I didn’t check the weather. I don’t know the currency or the exchange rate. Not sure about malaria. I don’t have a Lonely Planet – or any printouts of anything for that matter. I made a hotel reservation and arranged a taxi from the airport.

Fiona is encouraging me to “check out the difference between Sinhalese and Tamil Sri Lankans coz it's a big one” but I like those stories to unfold upon arrival. When I got on Millennium last year to sail from Phuket to Madagascar, we cancelled plans to stop in Sri Lanka because the captain deemed it too dangerous. So off we sailed toward the pirate coast of East Africa and I never got to see Sri Lanka.

I hopped off Millennium in the Maldives, flew to Egypt, sailed to Lebanon and that’s where I met Derek. Now Derek and I will see Sri Lanka together.

The journey continues…