Sri Lanka Weekend 4: Shenannigans

Senior-itis has officially set in and my motivation to be productive has been dwindling. Nevertheless, I had a list of things to accomplish this weekend. One being renewing my visa. The other? To relax. As much as possible.

So, on Thursday evening, I ventured to Colombo with my housemates with plans to take the overnight train to Trincomalee after renewing my visa. Plans seemed to go awry from the very beginning when, moments after getting out of the van and sending the driver off, I realized I had left my purse in the vehicle. As an experienced shenanigan handler, I activated crisis protocol immediately and had all my things back in ten minutes. Still, I think I managed to shave a few days off my life with those panicky ten minutes.

Friday morning, I rolled out of bed and over to the visa office. As I sat in the waiting area anticipating the opening of the office, the gentleman sitting in front of me turned around and asked if I spoke French. Although, it seemed more like he was confirming his suspicion than actually asking. Either way, I did, and I proceeded to help him with his questions about the visa forms. By the time I finished in the visa office around noon (Sri Lanka government likes to take its time), I had spoken more French than I had English of Sinhalese (no, I don’t actually speak Sinhalese). When I met up with my housemates again, I almost found it hard to switch back to English. I kept catching myself asking “quelle heur et-il?” and suggesting “on y va!”

The rest of the day was supposed to be spent wandering around Colombo shopping and exploring before catching the train. Unfortunately, though, the rail workers were on strike, so we spent most of the rest of the day trying to find an overnight bus with air conditioning to take us to Trincomalee. By the time dinner rolled around, we were exhausted and ready to fall asleep on the bus.

That did not happen.

The bus was an adventure in calming my nerves. I’ve experienced the Sri Lankan traffic in a tuk-tuk, a car, and a van. It’s terrifying just as it is. Add in one large tour bus and one sunset that has long since passed, and you have the recipe for waking up to a game of vehicle chicken and bright headlights reminiscent of the light people say they see when they’re near death.

We finally arrived in Trincomalee at 5:30 in the morning and as we walked into the hotel, we were greeted with one of the most beautiful sunrises over the beach. That was the perfect antidote to the stressful bus ride across the island.

We only spent one night at the hotel, but used it for every facility it had: Ocean, pool, food, drinks, and an amazing shower. It was a nice, relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of placement in Kandy and the stressful adventure from Colombo to Trincomalee. We did manage to do a bit of sight-seeing as well, but the town isn’t known for its tourist attractions, so it didn’t take up much of our time.

The shenanigans were worth the trouble though, because the view from our beach chalet tasted even sweeter knowing the effort we had to put in to get there.



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