Hello yet again and welcome to another post in this ever-expanding series concerning my first trip to Sri Lanka which happened in January – April 2014 and my usual quick word of advice to new readers that if they wish to read the entire piece they can do so here.
Regular readers will know that I had eventually managed to get out of the amazing village of Ella where I had become becalmed for rather a long time and thoroughly enjoyed being so. Under threat of very dire consequences by my dear friend Jo, who was staying in Kandy at the time and who I had promised to hook up with, I had finally made it to Kandy in the Central Highlands and if you want to know what happens next, please read on.
22nd March 2014.
To be honest, not a lot happened this day, I was probably a bit worn out after my travelling of the previous day, so I had a day of sitting about the hotel which was no hardship as you can see from the image. There was a pleasant foyer area with a good wi-fi connection so a day of beer and writing were called for. I did take a very brief walk locally just to orientate myself and decided that was quite enough exertion for the day.
I had a lovely meal in the mid-afternoon and this was my first introduction to the chef, quite an elderly gent who I was to get pretty friendly with over the time I was there. This fairly substantial meal kept me going until the evening when, unusually for me, Jo and I took off to the nearby Oak Ray Hotel where I had a second meal and that was equally delicious.
Just so you do not get confused, there are actually three Oak Ray Hotels in and around Kandy, this is the Oak Ray Heritage which sits on the hill overlooking the lake and it was quite swish although, as usual, completely empty. The bar was fairly snazzy as well.
23rd March, 2014.
I had planned to get out and about and have a good walk but dear old Mother Nature put a stop to that. The moment I woke up, early, I new something was wrong. I had the “gippy tummy” that will be so well known to frequent travellers and I must stress that I do no attribute it in any way to the two lovely meals I had eaten the day before, it is just one of those things that happens and there is nothing you can do about it.
The only reason I mention it is because of one of the strangest folk remedies I have ever encountered let alone tried. When the owner asked what I had planned for the day I told him of my malady and he told me not to move and disappeared into the kitchen, returning short while later with a coffeepot, cup and saucer.
I should tell you briefly about the owner here, his proper name is D.G Nalin and what D.G. stands for I do not know to this day because that is not what he introduced himself to me as or what Jo knew him as. He liked to call himself Loku Bada which is little rude as it translates as “Fat Belly” or “Big Belly” although, shall we say, he obviously appreciates a good rice and curry and certainly would not appear to be starving.
When he got to know me better he named me “Podi Badu” which means “Thin Belly” or “Small Belly” because I am as skinny as a rake. Although the staff would never have addressed him or me as such out of respect, you could see them grinning a little when we addressed each other thus and it continued even when we were e-mailing long after I had left.
As well as having a loku badu he has a “loku hadavata” and I hope I have translated that correctly (assistance please Treshi, it is great having a Sinhalese translator on tap!). It is supposed to mean “big heart” and he certainly has for reasons I shall explain in a future post and which makes for a truly uplifting story.
OK, I would not have thought of strong black coffee s an obvious cure and I normally drink my coffee white but this was not an option because it would have curdled. My “medical advisor” has squeezed what looked like at least a complete fruit’s worth of lime juice into the bottom of the cup. What? Black coffee and lime, are you joking? I drink lemon tea and love it but this was ridiculous.
Not wishing to appear ungrateful I tried it and it was not as absolutely awful as I had feared. It is certainly not the way I would choose to take my morning coffee but it was drinkable – just. Whether or not it was efficacious or not or whether it was my more conventional Western medication or perhaps a combination of both I could not say but after quiet day and an early night I awoke the next day as right as rain.
I realise that this ia a very short post so I shall explain the reason as I do like to keep you up to speed with my often erratic way of compiling these posts. I had initially intended to pass straight on to the next day but I have been composing it now for two days and it is a big day’s sightseeing which will require one, if not two post all to itself or else this one will become ludicrously large.
I you want to read all about my big day out then, as always, stay tuned and spread the word.