Sunday, September 18, 2005

1st day in Galle

Galle's a beautiful town, the 4th largest in Sri Lanka.

On the way down here by train, while it was pretty dark, I was able to see a surprising amount of damage to coastal houses, a result of the tsunami. Galle doesn't seem to have suffered too badly for some reason, although, the international cricket stadium has been damaged (much to the extreme sadness of the locals).

The town was colonized by Portugal, and then later, the Dutch, and they left behind their mark. I'm staying inside the fort protected area of town, just near the ramparts above the beach. They make for a nice prominade, upon which weekend tourists (families, and a lot of young couples) from other parts of the country come to walk, talk, play cricket, and be seen.

In particular, it seems that every hidden nook in the rapart structure is occupied by a pair of lovers, sneaking kisses and whispering when no one is looking.

I've adopted the local custom of using an umbrella to shield myself from the sun. After an hour of walking around without one, I was sunburned pretty badly (I think this is at least partially due to my Malaria pills). The locals also appear to use the umbrellas to provide themselves with a bit more privacy when they're smooching.

I spent much of the early afternoon in my room, under the comfort of the ceiling fan, reading a book and listening to the BBC world service on my short wave radio (which i'm very glad I brought now). As the early evening approached, and it cooled, I again went out onto the ramparts to sit down, relax, and enjoy the sea breeze. The sunset was very beautiful, and as soon as I can find non-dialup internet access, i'll upload a few photos.

I sat on a few rocks taking photos of the sunset when a young chap approached me, and struck up a conversation. He was a fisherman by trade, but spoke amazing english, and we ended up having an hour long chat about Buddhism - quite educational for me, and it gave me a glimpse into the Sri Lankan version of a relgion that i've seen practiced in a couple countries thus far.

No comments: