"Sri Lanka is an island that everyone loves at some level inside themselves. A very special island that travellers, from Sinbad to Marco Polo, dreamed about. A place where the contours of the land itself forms a kind of sinewy poetry." ~ Romesh Gunesekera

After a few relaxing days in the mountains outside of Kandy,
we made our way back to the bustling seaside city of Colombo.
Being a Sunday, the beach was filled with families...
and vendors selling all sorts of entertainment.
If they weren't flying a kite...
they were dipping their toes in the water.

Random fact learned while living in SE Asia:
China is offering aid to countries struggling financially 
while retaining ownership of certain aspects of the deal.  
The port seen in the distance is one of the ports China now owns and controls
to compete their 'Belt and Road' project. 
Nearby Pakistan is another.
There are many others as noted in this article 
'Investing' is a curious description 
of something they now have complete control of.
Anywho...
each country now struggles to pay their debt.
We had a bit of time... 
to explore around our hotel...
before a lovely sunset...
accompanied by the lovely tunes of a piper...
anouncing day is done...
as the flags are lowered.
The tragic hotel bombings of Easter 2019 
straddled its property,
and somehow Galle Face escaped attack.
While editing these photos,
what should be peaceful memories,
 feel instead...
eerily like a premonition of what would take place eight months later.
At that point it was only a railway strike on the surface,
with politics and religious unrest boiling beneath.

Travel can only be enjoyed under the adage:  
Travel is certainly uncertain.



"The soul of every country lives through its culture, its tradition and also through its history. The soul of Sri Lanka and its pure sense of Buddhism lies in the ancient sacred city, Kandy...the largest city after Colombo and located in mountainous and thickly forested interior of the island. They call it "the second capital of Sri Lanka". ~ Anima Choudhury, Wall Street International Magazine

As a new year rolls in...
and a new decade begins,
we have been quite preoccupied 
with the thirteenth move during our married life.
13! True fact.

Dallas, TX ->
Lafayette, LA ->
Lake Charles, LA ->
Houston,TX ->
Anahuac, TX ->
Caracas, Venezuela  (pre Chavez) -> 
Mexico City, Mexico ->
Anahuac, Texas ->
Houston, Texas ->
Aberdeen, Scotland ->
Bangkok, Thailand ->
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia ->
Aberdeen, Scotland

We love beautiful Scotland,
however, on winter days,
it is easier and way cozier 
to stay inside from the cold and dark. 
After days, months and years of sunshine in SE Asia, 
the thought of actually making a list of ways to fill my time indoors
 seemed like the right way to thouroughly enjoy a sense of accomplishment.

Resolutions always seemed so...
'loud'.
In a deep loud voice I resolve to...  

 A new term for resolutions has been floating around the world of 'social influencers'.
INTENTIONS.
As much as I hate to admit, I have been influenced with this 'softer' word.
Quietly and softly I intend to...
This new term sits well with me, because if my intention is not met immediately, 
it does not seem like the end of the world.
 Intentions are like puffs of smoke rising above the chimneys,
lingering long enough for me to become more intent. 

Of course, my first intention has been floating in the air 
for the entire month of January, Ha! 
Jumping back into the blogging world takes time.
It also forces me to admit the extent of how behind we are.
Exploring this beautiful world has not halted; 
only the blogging has been on hiatus.
 My intentions are to get caught up by our next new country.
The date of this trip will not be revealed 
so my intentions can linger a while, remember. 
Meanwhile,
way back in 2018,
before the bombings,
we enjoyed the mildly chaotic country of Sri Lanka.
Our love for the chaos of India prepared us for same same but different.
At the time, we were very annoyed by the train strikes
 which prevented us from seeing the picturesque countryside
 between Kandy and Ella.
A minor inconvenience 
compared to the pain and suffering 
of those families affected by the recent bombings.
As it turned out,
we were able to hire a car to drive us to and from our hotel near Kandy,
allowing us views and experiences otherwise missed from a train.
It also allowed our driver to help Ren Man find something to cover his legs 
before being allowed in the temple.
Quite the fashion statement.
 We toured the museum and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth...
where a tooth of Buddha...
is said to be kept under cover of a gold casket.
Each year, they parade the tooth through the streets...
The mist...
turned to rain as we meandered...
through the respectful...
 and intricate displays.
After our day filled with hours in the car and exploring Kandy,
we were instantly relaxed upon arriving at our lodging for the next three days...
where the views went on and on.
Our days were slow...
and peaceful...

and filled with Carpe Diem.
Cocktail hour...
called for a game of croquet...
and lounging about until the dinner bell.
We awoke to this view from our room...
and enjoyed breakfast surrounded by this vista.
Our decisions ranged from...
pool time...
with this guy...
or spa time.
Where time stood still.

We finally did drag ourselves away from the hotel grounds...
on an adventure...
in this fun vehicle.
The staff enjoyed the required jump photo (however, Ren Man missed the cue)...
before leaving us behind to enjoy a picnic amidst a beautiful countryside.

Next up...
Colombo.

It's good to be back.




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