Very cultural

Trip Start Oct 01, 2006
Trip End Dec 01, 2006

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Well, not many more of these to go now. Just as well actually because I'm running out of things to say! My Sinhalese is getting pretty good. I managed to impress some people in a shop yesterday who were laughing and joking when we came in. One of the girls practised some of her english on me for a bit and then her friend came up and started spouting a lot of Sinhalese at me. He pointed at the girl and said something which included 'peasue' (meaning crazy) to which I responded 'ni, lassini gala' (no, beautiful girl) and they were really surprised and found it all very amusing. And in case you're wondering what else I can say I can list it all here, it won't take long!

Comoday? Harry undi (How are you? Very well)
Megay nama Sophie (My name is Sophie)
Horda Mahansi (I'm very tired) - useful when cleaning out the sheds
Hatching (sneeze) - say it, it sounds like a sneeze!

So there you go. However I have learned how to talk to mahoots (they guys who train the elephants) as well. Basically any question they ask which has a yes/no answer needs to be answered with 'no'. Failing to do so ends up with conversations like: "You want to ride elephant? (yes) You want to ride elephant with mahoot? (yes) You want to ride my elephant? (errrmm...) You want to ride mahoot? (definitely no)". Yesterday's classic was "Do you like bananas?" to which we quickly answered no and his grin indicated that had we said yes, the conversation would have taken a turn like that mentioned above. You get the general idea. Everything and anything can be turned into a crude comment. Yesterday also included the proposal "I like you. You like me? We get together, I make it last 2 minutes". How I resisted I'll never know.

Aside from learning little bits of Sinhalese from the cleaners and trying to block out innuendos from mahoots I have also been cleaning out the poo-sheds (yesterday's was the worst ever. I have never worked so hard in all my life!) and watching the elephants at the river (and got to wash another one. Although technically I got washed as the mahoot who was with me took great joy in splashing me instead. Haven't been flirted with like that since I left the school playground).

This weekend was our cultural weekend where we finally got to see some of the more historic sites of Sri Lanka. Won't go into detail but we saw the ruined city at Polonaruwa, climbed Sigariya rock and visted the Dambulla caves. Lots of Buddhas, lots of ruins, lots of Sri Lankans trying to tell you the tin pot is actually silver and you should pay lots of money. And the dual pricing system again. This time it was 20 rupees for Sri Lankans, 4,410 for tourists. Translated into the Queens finest english pounds, that's the difference between 10p and 22pounds. They're onto a winner. I might write to the Tower of London people and suggest that they charge British Nationals 3 pounds (no symbols, sorry) to enter and everyone else 20. Also have an interesting idea about Wembley stadium. At Sigariya they ask you to carry a brick up to the top because they're rebuilding part of the structure - we simply do the same but ask tourists to visit Wembley and lay a brick in cement. It's got to be quicker than the way they're doing it...

But before you get worried that I haven't been to a beach in a little while, I'm heading back to Hikkaduwa this weekend. I've made some great friends here and it'll be the last weekend we'll all be together so we're going back to cause some havoc, celebrate Charlotte and Sarah's birthdays, drink lots of arrack and top up the tans. And kick some Sri Lankan butt at Connect 4 again. And for those of you who might also be concerned that you haven't had a freckly update, my shoulders are ridiculously freckled, my legs are pretty freckled and my tummy is also getting a couple.

Will sign off for now. Rather annoyingly this internet place won't let me upload photos but if I get time on Thursday back in Ja-Ela then I may give it a go. Will be in touch soon to organise meeting up when I get back. My thanks go to my mum's best friend Liz who has well and truly updated me on Neighbours. Mum would have been proud. (And those of you who knew her you'd know she would also have been secretly recording it for me everyday for the past 2 months to surprise me with when I got home!) Looking forward to seeing you all soon.

In next week's episode of the Sri Lankan blog, Top Ten Things I'll Miss About Sri Lanka. I may also include a multiple choice quiz for you to complete so that I know you've been paying attention. First prize will be something I'll bring back from the poo-sheds...

Slideshow Report as Spam


angelad0 on

comoday Sophie
Very impressed with the tuttut driving-bit different to the A3

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