Category: Travel

More Photos From Sri Lanka

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AmanwellaResortThis is the beautiful Amanwella Resort in Tangalle. We visited in April as we explored the South East of the island.


Click on the photo to enlarge it and then just stare at it to relax. Ahhhhh.


MoonlitClouds

A bright full moon is still visible behind the clouds, and can still create silhouettes of palm trees.


 


Tangalle-bound


The rocky coast at Dikwella.


Bouganvilla


Bouganvilla resting on the windshield – taken from inside the car.


NotAShowroom2

By some odd coincidence, all the guests at this boutique hotel had Nissan X-Trails (ours is the silver one) except one…”One of these things is not like the other.”


RegattaKo


A small bay near Unawatuna…we thought about renting a boat, but it looked a little stormy.


SalonDilhara


One of these things is not like the other!


I don’t think they know the one at the right is a man, man.


He’s got pretty hair though!


Plus they spelled “Bridals” as if they cater to horses…


OurLegacy


This is where people in the know go! 😉  C’mon! It’s a palace!

 Sailing2gether1


Look at us go!  Capt. KP is in the red, I’m in brown.


On Bolgoda Lake in Moratuwa.

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Another shot of us sailing…(takes me awayyyyy….and gets a Christopher Cross song stuck in my head….)

UnderConstruction


I liked the different shades of blue on this building under construction. The guy imitating the Beatles is behaving unusually. Most people just wander into traffic wherever they want to.

MyBustJune08


Hey that’s me!  I got my hair done and had to capture it before the humidity got to it, or I put it up in a ponytail or bun, ruining it.


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Our houseman/gardener brings me flowers. God bless him!

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This is the King Coconut tree in our garden. If we don’t cut them down, they will bomb us!

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This struck me as such a very Sri Lankan scene — the orange King Coconuts in front of the antique chest. 


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Puppy!  Aney….


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Visiting a cousin, I heard his dogs barking. This was why — just a really long snake. Apparently the dogs had wrestled with it before.

Snake-3


Clever, huh? He found a way to take the stairs without arms and legs!


I was safely on the balcony above, by the way. And am quite glad that this is not my neighborhood! But it is in the middle of the city.


How’s that for a big ending?

The Freedom to Travel the World

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AmericanFlagSunrise


Photo from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinsworld/382281375/


 


One of the freedoms we Americans forget about is our freedom to travel just about anywhere in the world. All we need is our American passport and a ticket, and we’re off. 


 


In contrast, much of the world has to get permission every time they want to enter another country. Here’s what my husband, a Sri Lankan passport holder, has to do just to TRANSIT for ONE NIGHT in Japan, though he’s gotten the same visa twice a year for the past 3 years (by the way– pretty much every embassy has the same procedure). And remember, this is the “easy” process, since he’s already been given the visa before.


 

  • Get a letter from his company stating that he is indeed employed and does have vacation time coming to him, along with his company ID. (So they know he’ll come back from their country and won’t migrate illegally.)

 

  • In addition to the form, he needs to attach a letter asking for one day processing, because as an airline pilot, he kinda needs his passport every day and can’t let them have it for a week.

 

  • He has to bring his tickets and confirmation from a hotel to prove to them exactly what he’ll be doing and when. The magic of this is that if they refuse the visa, the tickets have to be cancelled and may not be refundable.

 

  • His current and previous passports.

 

  • Stand in line in front of the Japanese embassy from 7am, because they only let a certain number of people in each day at 9am, and they don’t care if you only have one day off to take care of this (or if you’ve traveled from out of town, as many do). If you don’t get in, you’ll have to come another day.

 

  • When his number is called, he presents all of his documents to a Sri Lankan who has been employed to keep out the riff-raff and is on a major power trip. (Because these people are so evil, they are hidden behind reflective glass so no one recognizes them and takes out their aggressions on them after they get off work).

 

  • This person ignores all the evidence and demands paperwork that he doesn’t have with him and that are not asked for in any documentation from their embassy—a faxed confirmation from the hotel, a copy of his work schedule, his bank details, his birth certificate.

 

  • Then he has to argue with them, reason with them, and demand that they look at the stuff he’s brought that proves he’s done this many times before and they have always given it to him.

 

  • Then they usually say okay, come back in one week and he has to argue with them to pick it up later in the day or the next day.

 


For many people who are not airline captains and have not done this before, they need to show proof of all of their assets to prove they’ll come back. A divorced friend was a concern to the US embassy because they feared he had no reason to return and would lose himself in the underground. (Read “The Inheritance of Loss” by Kiran Desai to get a sense of what the underground life is like. It’s not very appealing.)





And all I have to do is arrive in Japan and show my U.S. passport. That’s freedom!


God bless America!


Why I’m better suited for writing and radio…

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It really took way too much work to get these videos from the video camera to the You Tube. It required days of input from the finest minds in my household and even then, it came out a rather poor quality BUT it's something

Let me know what you think – really. Go to http://www.youtube.com/MalaynaTravels for the entire trilogy thus far. I can pretty much guarantee you'll all enjoy a laugh at my expense!

 

Has living in Sri Lanka changed my voice?

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This video is from a Bollywood film and is a fairly good indication of the nasal trend in women's voices here in South Asia. Aishwariya Rai stars in this film with her (now) husband Abishek Bachchan and his father, the Sean Connery of Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan, and boy does she shake her Aish! (Usually pronounced "ash".) Am I impressing you with my knowledge of Bollywood stars?

Two good friends in L.A. have told me twice over the last two visits that I sound nasal, and I'm beginning to think it is the Asian influence. I know I certainly adjust my accent, enunciating things I normally wouldn't, just to be understood, but I didn't think I was going nasal…or native. Who knows? It's a working theory.

In the meantime, enjoy a little Bollywood, if your ears can stand it. It took me a while to get used to the difference in vocal styling, but my Scottish friend Cecilia and my Korean friend Eunice were so into Bollywood, I could no longer resist. They both prefer Shahrukh Khan, but his voice is much lower and wouldn't prove my point! Maybe next time.

A random selection of *fascinating* photos from Sri Lanka

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I'm pretty sure you can click any of these photos to see the photo enlarged. If not, you'll live!

ElushkaPier2 From Feb-ish of '08 – a photo of Elushka at the Yacht Club at sunset. Elushka is a Sri Lankan married to a German guy who lives in Dubai. We're an international group, I tell ya.

  OurHouse4-mycarThis is our house…in the middle of our street. And me and my little car!

This is Picture 002a "blowhole" in the Tangalle area in the South of the island. It splashes up through a channel in the rocks and actually goes really high in the air, but I only caught the tail end.

GOOD flying creatures — like me & my pilot hubby :)

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LG_flyer_explorer Because of my recent flights to and across the U.S., I decided to look into carbon offsets.  I wrote an article about them for one of the Garments Without Guilt blogs. Here’s the link to the story and here are some highlights:


For those who need more help in reducing their footprint, companies like Carbonfund.org can help. They help to calculate your current carbon footprint and then help you offset it by investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency, reforestation or a combination of the three. They even offer ways to offset the carbon created by shipping. In a global economy where our products are made in one country and shipped to another, it’s an important consideration.


Terrapass.com


and Be Green Now.com are other similar sites that offer a variety of offsets for individuals and businesses.  Be Green Now offers packages for frequent fliers that you can put on your luggage to let others know you’re flying carbon neutral.




Pilot-thumb-264x193Guess what my airline pilot hubby is getting for his birthday? “Look honey! You’re carbon neutral!” (I’ll get him something fun too, don’t worry.)


Speaking of my flyboy, according to a Flight Global magazine blog , airline pilots rank as the sexiest job. Score one for me! I landed me one of them! Of course, I guess I should consider that the source may be biased.


So though I’ll certainly get myself one of those frequent flier carbon offsets so I can  fly guilt free (Wheeee!), another Flight Global article said it might be greener to fly sub-orbital. I’ll wait for that one, but I’m really waiting for someone to invent that Star Trek technology so I can just say “beam me up!” or over, or some other prepositional phrase. Will they need pilots for that? Maybe I should stick with sub-orbital so my hubby can continue to have a job and he’ll get to fly in space! And I will be kept in the manner to which I have become accustomed. 😉