Cause Colombo can wear you out
I left the laptop in the bag, wrote notes on paper. Most productive I’ve been in a while, away from the constant twitch of email and the infinite naked women on the Internet. Occasionally, even in Colombo, you can lucinate your self into some other world. Of art, of music, of technology. I’m wearing linen pants and shirt, crossing my legs and smoking a copasetic beedi. ‘Charter’ is the word of the day. Thought it just meant cool (as in ‘ela’), but it may mean something dunce. It’s hard to hear, beneath the tears, but there is a pulse to this country that’s pretty ela kiri. There is a slip of tongue and cool water, lime pickle and fresh fish to the place. Colombo is a horrid place only the British could devise, but the body to the brain is less, say, insane. It’s July. I’m itching for outstation.
City’s so hot it whets you out. Going around depressed and fatigued for days, then realize I’m just not drinking enough water. Want to order a salad and fruit from the kade but I’m counseled to not even try. Bath packet, mango pickle (hidden in a drawer) and water water water.
The streets are all fucked up. Not that there are people getting beat up (though they are). More like the traffic is an unintended and entirely unwelcome tour of Colombo. Namely bumpers and various trishaw stickers reading ‘Ranmali’ and ‘Suranga’ and assorted sons of bitches. Or at least that’s what one calls their fathers in traffic. People drive round a lot more. It’s the government’s new ‘Gotabaya Needs Security (To Make Things Less Secure)’ traffic plan. Lot more pollution. And it’s hot. So hot and dirty.
More to the point, anyone staying in Colombo will slowly but surely go insane. Physical hardships aside, the social traffic is the real snarl. Sometimes I feel like it would take large quantities of hallucinogens to emerge from the scene (as it were) with any sense of reality.
And then you hit the road. The traffic snakes itself out a bit past Panadura but the roads stay well paved. Hit real clicks on the automobile, access gears that rarely turn. It’s hot but you’re near the water. You can swim, cool off, drink king coconut, sleep, wake, dream. Go up even, into the hills. Snake through mist and green into the land of bedsheets and evening chills. Anything, anywhere. It’s a beautiful country. It’s important to remember that, periodically.