I have officially been in Colombo for a day and a half now and am loving every minute of it. Before I came I was warned of culture shock, which is understandable because like I said this place is unlike anything I have ever experienced; however, instead of “shock” I find myself fascinated by all of the differences.
The way people dress (men in skirts), the food they eat (curry everything), the way that there are absolutely NO traffic laws (buses, motor cycles, cars, tuktuks, and even tractors all share the roads), all astound me. Too often I feel that we are quick to judge others and dib people who do things different than us weird, uneducated, etc. When really who is too say what is normal? Just because I grew up eating with a fork and knife and Sri Lankans prefer to use their hands does not mean what they do is wrong. It is simply how they were raised. When traveling it is SO important to look at everything with open eyes and minds.
So what the heck have I been doing with myself these past days? Well I arrived in Colombo at 5am yesterday and went to the hotel from the airport. I hung out at the hotel for a few hours then took off for my tour. The hotel arranged for a taxi to come and take me anywhere I want to go and show me all the main sights of Colombo. We went to temples, parks, museums, markets, everywhere! The taxi driver was so kind too and always came with me and explained everything. The best part was the entire thing cost me $38.
After that I was exhausted, so I went to my room ordered some room service and was passed out by 8pm – no melatonin needed.
This morning the other American volunteer arrived which I was SO happy about because not only is she a girl, but she is a girl my age! We enjoyed breakfast together and then headed off into town to go to the markets.
As a write this we are back at the hotel enjoyed lunch. Tomorrow we will be taking a train into Kandy then going to the elephant conservation camp where I will be spending the next three weeks. So not to worry soon there will be many elephant pictures to come. 🙂