Public toilet, Horton Plains
My friend has this magnificent book called the Ceylon Traveller, published by Studio Times. Written a lot by Nihal Fernando I think. It is a charming and deeply erudite guide to Sri Lanka, written by locals, going far beyond any Lonely Planet. It has all these back trails, short-cuts, inside knowledge, etc, written by guys who really know the country. One gem is this poem about hunting. This was before JVP era gun control. It’s a Sri Lanka I can barely imagine.
Oh this is the first of November (when the season opens)
A day that snipe shooters remember
We’ve been cleaning our guns since September
And awaiting the dawn of this day
While lie abed fellows are yawning,
We’ll be out with the gun in the morning,
We’ll be up with the sun when it’s dawning,
We will tramp on untiring feet.
And soon at our feet he’ll be springing,
On his zig-zagging way he’ll be winging
And on him our guns we’ll be swinging
As he flashes away with his cry.
Our ‘rights’ and our ‘lefts’ we’ll be banging…