Alright. I am technically off the road for almost 2 weeks but forcing myself to get this post out because I want to record my thoughts.
1) Sri Lanka turned out to be everything I expected it to be. Landscapes reminding me of Kerala while the people reminding me of Southern Tamil Nadu inhabitants. And the food – yes, the food, a delicious combination of Tamil and Coastal Andhra cuisines..
2) What struck me the most (never thought about it this seriously even though I know there a few other Asian countries who fall into the same category), was the fact that there was a lot of meat being consumed in spite of this being a Buddhist country.
3) The people are mostly polite, down to earth and pretty rooted.
4) The language brought back so many memories from my childhood days, when the first ever TV we got to watch at home was actually ‘Rupavahini’. Had a great time talking about those days with our tour guide and testing my memory at the same time.
5) The social friendly policies of the country (free education till college and free health care) have helped the country in many ways, especially with regards to the problems of urbanization. I think it is important for a country which is rich in natural resources such as herbs & spices to make sure urbanization isn’t a big issue. Talking about spices, their biggest claim to ‘spice fame’ is Cinnamon.
6) Cleanliness – Despite the fact that they have to deal with all challenges of being a third world country (poverty included), I was terribly impressed with one thing – overall cleanliness. If not at the Singapore level, the people seem to have better consciousness about keeping the surroundings clean than a few other comparable countries. That aspect, inevitably brought out a comparison between India and Sri Lanka. Well, that may be for another post but I did leave the country with my introspective mode turned on.