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Reisverslag Where the streets have no name
21 augustus 2015
Where the streets have no name
The first thing we did in Jaffna was looking for food. After a while, we found a nice and quiet place to eat. Despite the fact that the restaurant was almost empty, the owner took us through a backdoor that said "ladies room". Ok, let's eat in a toilet...
So there were a few tables and we set down. With the help of some other guests we ordered our food (because nobody speaks English there). We got a banana leaf with roti and some curries on it. Eat with your right hand, because left in for wiping shit! It was very nice
Next day we got up early to go to a Hindu temple, which is very different from Buddhist temples. They are even more colourful.
After a that we just wandered about and had some lunch. After lunch we went to search for a non existing beach. We walked right passed an army base. I think also due to the elections there was a lot of police and army in Jaffna. Because the war only ended 6 years ago, I guess they want to keep the peace during the elections. They just walk around with their AK 47s. We ended the day at the Dutch fort to see the sunset, if only the clouds weren't there to block the view.
Also in Anuradhapura there was a lot of army and police. You've got the police, the army, the civil defense service and the CSD (don't know what that is but they said they where like the army). So who are friends and who are foes?
Anuradhapura was nice. We rented bicycles and rode to the ancient city. In those years, the stupas there were the biggest buildings of the world, together with the Egyptian pyramids. But then it started pouring rain and the sky started to make some noise. But we kept it on going. Never felt this cold in Sri Lanka.
On Monday we had to get back before 1pm, because transport would stop and everything would close after 1pm, due to the elections.
Today I started with my class. I've got about 6 monks to teach. It is very nice. The only go to school from 8am till 10pm. Than it's tea time. They also serve some snacks like coconut with honey, which is really good. This afternoon I wanted to go to Kandy to buy some things. But apparently the shops are still closed. An English guy at the bus station told us that people close the shops, because last election too many people got killed. People are scared. Nobody knows what will happen.
Foreigners should be fine though. But to play safe we went back to the guesthouse. So now I am writing, reading and playing cards with my fellow volunteers.
Elections went quietly and Wednesday everything was back to normal. That afternoon I took the public bus to Kandy and went to the local market. I bought some souvenirs there. People there are also really nice. My first days, I thought Kandy was too crowded and busy for me. I didn't like it so much. But with every visit to the city I grow more fond of this place.
Yesterday Esala Perahera started. This is a Buddhist festival where Budddha's tooth is shown to the public in a parade with elephants. It is really cool to see. It's the most sacred festival in the country and people from outside the city are coming to Kandy. It is really crowded. But it is well organized. Again a lot of police and 'Task Force' is present. Also paramedics are standby. To go to and from the city is a bit of a struggle, but we went there with a big group from the guesthouse and made it there in time to watch Perahera.
Every morning I still teach the little monks at the temple, which is very nice. I also made friends with the older monks at the temple. Today the showed me and my fellow teacher the meditation area in the hills. It was really nice. I also befriended them on Facebook now.
This afternoon I went grocery shopping and got a free avocado at the register
21 augustus 2015 16:34 | Door: Franka en peter
Dear Niels, really good to read again about your adventures. Please explain your title..where the streets have no name. Really curious about your pictures, especially from the festival.