Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How to happymaking in Sri Lanka

First of all please allow me to express my disappointment- "happymaking" is a pretty bad word in Sri Lanka and not very sathutui=happy :-) And the irony is that it doesn't seem to be such a pervert society at all- if I may say that- don't get mad people! However still an incredible place for some real happymaking!!! There is nothing that can't be found here- unless you are after a white Christmas- Sri Lanka definitely has them all. And after my last visit there I kind of picked my top happymaking activities- see the list...feel free to experience some if you ever get there :-)
  • sunsets at BUBA bar in Mount Lavinia- to start with :-)
  • mad rides in threewheelers or tuk tuks- a perfect alternative to any boring taxi!
  • sunrises on the east coast- Trinco or Arugam Bay are great places for that :-)
  • papaya and pineapple juices
  • look for dragonflies- there are 117 species in Sri Lanka of which 52 are found nowhere else. pretty cool I must say!
  • go for an evening safari- watch elephants bathing, try to spot a leopard in yala- I failed on the last one but guide said it chances are 90% if you take 5 safari rounds...only had 2 :-)
  • leave the main roads and go for the red ones- the red soils of Sri Lanka will give a very extraterrestrial look to all your pics
  • look high- there are magic birds everywhere! and I mean everywhere. Colourful peacocks, pigeons, doves, green bee- eaters, indian rollers, kingfishers, can be seen almost everywhere, meaning even in your hotel's backyard! Enjoy the view!
  • take a late night dip in the ocean- the Indian ocean is never cold :-)
  • go snorkelling in Trinco- if you're a fan of exotic fishes and corals a boat trip to Pigeon Island may be a good alternative to spending a day in the sun :-)
  • experience food- from desserts to rottis, tuna steaks, crabs and other sea food goodies and if you got the guts for some super hot curries.
  • climb the Sigirya fortress!
  • go baila- as the name says it, "dance"- feel lucky if you'll find yourself in the middle of a baila dancing crowd. Still on my list :-)
  • learn about tea- visit the tea plantations and factories, have some real Sri Lankan black tea- BOPF quality :-) See how Sir Lipton built his empire and think about it next time you'll have some ice tea :-)
  • look for trees- must admit I couldn't recognize ONE single tree in Sri Lanka. But glad I got to learn how a rubber, papaya, mango, aralyia and teak trees look like. Still fascinated with the vegetation. And won't even mention flowers!!!
  • enjoy the sea spray- after all you are on an island!
  • go surfing in Arugam- must admit they have a pretty happy surfers community. Watch out for magic drinks and local surfers:-)
  • feeling hot? Check what the "time capsule" has to offer and discover Little Britain! A short visit to Nuwara Eliya or Haputale will make you regret you didn't bring a sweater. And you get to see people wearing slippers and beanies in the same combination. Outrageous! Plus you get to see so much of the British influence in terms of architecture, tea and hobbies. And check for strawberries farms- all your dreams can come true :-)
  • discover the gem shops in Unawatuna or go for a gem mining experience in Ratnapura- perfect place to see and learn about gems...and of course shop. From precious blue or padparadcha sapphires to Sri Lankan moonstones, everything is there. Won't even get started on this #happymaking topic :-) !!!
  • learn about Buddhism and Hinduism- there are so many temples everywhere (and also some famous one like the one in Kandy) that you can't say you missed them. Lively colours, vibrant incense smells and chants- from simple religious manifestations to pure esoterism.
  • go hiking- World's End, Horton Plains or my dream for a next visit- Adam's Peak- breathtaking landscapes and lovely tracks.
  • learn some words in Singhalese- although I still think it is a pretty acoustically "brutal" language I must admit there are some very melodic words I got to like. maybe a bit like the country itself :-)
  • learn to play carom- the local version of billiards...they say :-)...more like backgammons to me :-)
  • watch a cricket game- if you have the time and the interest, Sri Lankans are pretty proud with their players and fond of this sport.
  • visit a school- I just love the Sri Lankan white school uniforms. Such a peaceful outfit for a country marked by years of war. Always brings a smile to my face.
  • shop for fabrics- batiks- you don't have to love saris to find something that pleases even the most picky fashionista :-) Incredible colours and fabrics can be found almost everywhere (after all Sri Lanka has one of the top apparel industries). Something to take home and turn into a cocktail dress or a cute table clothing!!
  • experience cinnamon- after all it is the cinnamon country (90% of the world's production comes from here)! from spicy main dishes to yummy ice cream I don't think there is any cinnamon based dish you can't find here.
  • go whales and dolphins watching- still on my to do list! same with the rainforest experience! so much to do here that I didn't have time :(
  • get a Sri Lankan book- there are some incredible English writing authours! So far my top favorite is Nihal De Silva. Check "The Road from the Elephant Pass", "The Giniraella Conspiracy" or "The far spent day". Good lecture for your flight back and something to make you coming back :-)
Last but not least find a MACHANG :-) Think one can't leave this pretty country without getting some best friends to come back to! And how am I glad that I have found mine!


Andy Piper said...

well, sorry to say, but the word can be interpreted in a bad way in English as well, you know...

Silvia said...

and you never told me? why why why :-) no more happymaking for you...in the right way :-)