The day started with a delicious breakfast and again some interesting discussions, this time with the daughter of the host family. Soon however it was time to go and the TukTuk Driver already waited to pick me up. (We were supposed to meet at 8.30, 8.31 he already tried to call… relax, I am coming!)
So off we went on a journey to explore Kandy and its surroundings. I told him I would love to visit some Temples outside the city, the rest was up to him. (Remember the “trust your driver, he knows what he is doing?) So we first went to see two rather small Buddhist temples off the tourist crowds. In one of them, I discovered a tethered, sad looking elephant. Not cool at all!
Following this first stops, we cruised through forests, along rice fields and I enjoyed the scenery. Mr. TukTuk started to play music (love songs mainly, hurray) and all a sudden he randomly stopped at a house along the way where he discovered some nice flowers in the garden and therefore asked the owner to unearth a few bulbs for him to plant in his own garden. I was astonished by this uncomplicated way of “neighborly help” and I have experienced this phenomenon already twice since I am here. So this really is just what people here do instead of buying expensive seeds. Smart move!
A few minutes later we again hit the road and went to visit a spice garden where I was lucky enough to meet a local “medicine-man” who was talking German quite well and especially knew the names of all kinds of plants as well as sicknesses in German. I was deeply impressed! So the tour was interesting and I got to see many herbs, flowers and also spices which I didn’t even knew how exactly they were growing. I got to try fresh Ginger tea with I don’t know how many herbs inside and was also given a facial and head massage. Pretty nice! Since I was impressed by the mans knowledge and passion for his job, we exchanged phone numbers. My idea behind that of course was it to have the chance to call him if I wanted to come back with visitors one day, which I also explained to him. He however seemed to have gotten the message wrong (as most of the men here seem to do unfortunately) and started calling me in the evening. I didn’t answer the phone – however this really made me wonder how I was gonna be able to establish a decent business relationship or friendship with these people if they always have other ideas or perceptions of what they want from me, or just in general from white women? It is gonna be a challenge for sure!
Anyway, the spice garden tour was great and we moved on to visit a silk factory, where the dressed me in a Sari (and yes – photo proof exists, and no, I am not gonna share them, it is better for all of us believe me haha) Following that, I also visited a tea factory (Sri Lanka is one of the biggest tea producers worldwide) and then we drove back to Kandy. Along the way, Mr. TukTuk organized some lunch and while we were waiting for it, I could observe a Sri Lankan wedding and was offered sweets from the kids. So cute! Ones the take-away lunch was ready, we drove up on a hill where a friend of the driver had a hotel and so we could eat our lunch there in the restaurant area as it had started to rain in the meantime. Very much to the amusement of the driver, I tried to eat like a local – by hand! It worked surprisingly well and also it tasted delicious! As soon as we finished eating, Mr. TukTuk seemed to have fallen back into his flirty mood and wanted to take I don’t know how many selfies (standing as close as possible, of course!) and also mentioned several times that the hotel rooms were very close… thanks, but no! I also denied his incredibly friendly offer to go to his place and see his shower which apparently seemed to be different than others (Like really?? Did this strategy ever work??) All this attempts and also the calls of him and the medicine-men really are annoying and give you the feeling of not being able to really trust the people. However, I also clearly want to state that I never felt physically intimidated or threatened at any time. Also they stopped calling after two or three times if they realise that the phone is not being answered.
In the meantime, the rain stopped and we drove down to the city where our tour finished. We said goodbye and with a little lie to be already invited for dinner, I could also escape Mr. TukTuks offer to have dinner and drinks with him in the evening. I then spent the rest of the day at the Temple of Tooth which is a major tourist attraction in Kandy. The temple used to be the palace of the last king and was turned into a Temple after the Sacred Tooth, an important relict in the Buddhist religion has been brought here.The temple is nice to see but pretty crowded and also the world Buddhism Museum which can be found inside is very informative but kind of overwhelming – it is huge!!
Before it started to get dark, I went home, tired but happy with all the many things I saw during the day. I felt the urge to write down all the experiences I made so far and to somehow process it all. (This is by the way the evening where the Blog-Idea was born!) So writing is what I have been occupied with for the rest of the night until the first blog was published and I went to bed. This night, fortunately, also my upstairs neigbour (remember the noisy little gnawer?) seemed to have his work finished early and so I could soon fall asleep.
- Let your TukTuk driver chose where to go – he knows the best spots!
- No matter how nice or friendy someone is – never follow them to their homes alone if you don’t know them very well! (This should be clear tough I think.. I hope!)