This is the start of a series of posts about my trip to Sri Lanka… I hope you like them.
We arrived in the capital and what hit me was the richness of everything. The greens, the thick air, the sounds, the colors … everything was alive and made all the senses come alive. We stayed with a friend and met her landlord. Their openness and hospitality were welcoming after a long flight.
The city itself is large and sprawling and, unlike Amman, pretty flat. It has everything you could want from high end restaurants and western catering cafes to third world squalor. We explored gardens, temples, museums, markets, bookshops, and stores.
We walked – it’s a walking friendly city. We rode tuk tuks which are the taxis of the country. We also took metered taxis which you call and they arrive usually 15 minutes later and take you to where ever you desire any time day and night.
Being in the city was exhilarating, yet it wasn’t exotic. We were still in a city with city life all around us. Granted it was Sri Lankan city life, I still wanted to escape the city.
One thing I loved about my first few days in Colombo was experiencing the tolerance. The tolerance that people had towards each other, more specifically, their religious tolerance towards each other. People here are Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian among others. And even though they may identify their religion quickly enough through iconography and other means, they do respect and tolerate others in a way that, unfortunately, I do not see at home. Very clearly this tolerance can be seen in the sharing of religious space, Hindu and Buddhist temples in the same place side by side. Each religion gives the other space to be and practice with out animosity.
We spent three nights in Colombo and when we awoke off we were to the bus station. We caught the first bus to Kandy we could find to start our odyssey into the Island that is Sri Lanka.