Six Days to Go

Less than a week now. We leave on Saturday 7th – a short early morning hop up to Auckland, a leisurely stroll across to the international terminal, then a longer flight to Singapore. Followed by another flight across the Bay of Bengal to Sri Lanka’s capital city, Colombo. So much still to do though – packing, printing, procrastinating and taking Elsie (the bag checker) to … Continue reading Six Days to Go

Checking the Bags

Before going away on a trip, it is absolutely vital bags are checked properly. There could be undesirable stowaways: wetas secreted in the lining, or spiders with dead flies on the handle, even the odd foraging mouse. Before we went to Samoa two years ago, we employed the services of a professional bag checker. They’re not particularly expensive – the charge is just a biscuit … Continue reading Checking the Bags

Flags of Colour not Convenience

During our visit to the sunlit river lands of Whanganui, we happened upon not one but TWO flags from Sri Lanka. “This is the Buddhist flag.” Sue unwrapped a bright breezy piece of cloth over the sofa, instantly transforming her living room into a tiny slice of South-East Asia. “Blue represents compassion, yellow the path to liberation, red the Blessings of Practice, white purity, and … Continue reading Flags of Colour not Convenience

Teatime with an Expert

As with anything, it helps to talk to someone who’s done it before. And so at the weekend, we drove two hundred kilometres north to Whanganui to talk to Kate’s mum, Sue, who has recently returned from Sri Lanka. The first thing we noticed was the bright Buddhist flag fluttering outside the front door. Blue for compassion, red for the Blessings of Practice, and orange … Continue reading Teatime with an Expert

Photo by Genine Alyssa Pedreno-Andrada from Pexels

The Eternal Unhappiness of Railways

In Samoa, we noticed the inverse relationship between happiness and railways. Everyone smiles in Samoa and no one ever boards a train. Probably because there aren’t any trains, not one locomotive or passenger car anywhere in the country. Whereas in the UK, the poor country that invented railways, commuting is up there with Dante’s eighth circle of hell. So how are we going to fare … Continue reading The Eternal Unhappiness of Railways

Moonshine Ain’t Moonshine

I found out that full moon days in Sri Lanka have special religious significance in the Buddhist calendar. They are called Poya days and are reserved for contemplation and cleansing of the defiled mind. All offices and shops close from midnight to midnight, and there is nowhere – not even tourist restaurants and hotel bars – where you can buy alcohol. The Sri Lankan Excise … Continue reading Moonshine Ain’t Moonshine

Visa Scams

So I’m a little worried about our thirty-day tourist visas. They may not be all they seem. Let me explain. Some months ago, I googled “Sri Lanka visas“ and then applied through the website that appeared first in the results. Everything worked competently enough. The website processed my payment and, two days later, emailed me two long strings of random alphanumerics that were apparently our … Continue reading Visa Scams

About

Hi there from Kate and Andy. If you add together our names, you have Kandy, a town in Sri Lanka. This is one of our reasons for travelling to this island state. There are others: tea, elephants, temples, monks in orange robes, the Duran Duran Save A Prayer video and vegetable curries. Perhaps not the best reasons for going, but that’s us. Read about the … Continue reading About