Edit Blog Post
Published: January 15th 2014
This was quite a shock to see that my connecting flight from Sharjah to Sri Lanka was packed with Ukranian tourists. Some were so pale you could actually see through them. And that is a fact.
Booyaka….shaaa you lot.
And welcome to another post from John-Jo. I do hope you are well and enjoyed Christmas.
I am going to be honest, my second visit to Sri Lanka did not start very well. I think my time in Iran had set my standards a wee bit high in terms of humanity.
I knew this was a risk, I remember telling work buddies of my concerns months before I left the UK. Truth is the minute I hit Sri Lanka I was back on the crappy end of the tourist stick. And it hurt.
And please read to the end of this post to understand what I mean by this.
Iran was so blissfully free of foreigner exploitation I arrived in Sri Lanka with these memories still strong and fond memories of my last visit stronger.
Of course I had landed in a hugely touristic destination, heading for a hugely touristic area at a hugely touristic time of year.
I am not going in to the details but it involved (justified) arguments with a restaurant owner and a fairly creepy encounter with a local. Nuff said, Innit.
Anyway, the second week,
A very typical Sri Lankan beach scene. Lovely until I was surrounded by several local beach boys offering various vices.
after Steph arrived, it took a turn for the better, the much better. A combination of her presence, riding the trains and getting away from the coast helped to restore my faith in Sri Lankans and reminded me of why I liked the country in the first place.
We hit the trains and headed up to the Hill Country. Many long train journeys, much longer than I had planned back in old Blighty, but eased by the niceness and hospitality of the Sri Lankans, most in Holiday mood themselves.
Anyhoo. Steph flew off to the UK to visit a friend and I flew off to India.
Now. If you are still with me please read long enough to understand my ideas for India. I have spent a long time contemplating India. India can be a fearsome place to visit. The hassle, the poverty, the weight of population, the distances….all make it a difficult place to contemplate.
So far, I have been eased in very easy (by design, not accident) by spending the first few weeks in the South of Kerala in a wee town called Varkala. Pretty touristy, not in a mass package tour kind of
This is a terrible photo. It was supposed to signify the split between rich tourists and local people. The rich tourists stayed mainly in the hotel complex, and the poor local people were forced to stay on the outside and look in. But it just looks like a picture of a building.
way, nice touristy, but touristy all the same, which is fine as I am a tourist and it nice to have touristy stuff to do. And it is blissfully free of hassle, shop keepers lazily point at their shop as you walk past, that is about it. Not what I expected from India.
Was planning on staying a week, but have extended this to two weeks, I am happy, no need to move on.
Anyway, yes, the intentions for India. I don’t think it is a place you can hurry, neither is a place you can visit all of, so I have decided to focus on four areas.
Kerala, with a splodge of Goa. Beaches and fun. Nothing wrong with that.
The North East States (Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram etc). Fairly remote, tribal and undeveloped, which should make for hard travelling, which can be hell but it is what you look back on.. These states are only opening up now the Government has restricted all the special permits you used to need.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, loves a good tropical island I do. These are actually closer to Thailand than India. Going to either fly or
They love a bit of Baby Jesus in Sri Lanka, they make the most amazing Cribs. And not in the MTV sense of the word. Although that would be quite fun to do. I am thinking Bentleys parked outside and a movie theater in the basement.
catch the weekly boat from Chennai. My parents caught a cargo ship from India to Africa many years ago and have heard the tales. This will not be a cruise, it will pretty rough.
And lastly, the far North, the Thar Desert, up by the Pakistani border. I like a bit of Desert too, bit like going to Pakistan but without the hassle of kidnapping and stuff.
But you know what? We shall just wait and see, I have four months here and whilst I want to bit of off the beaten track traveling I shall just see how it all unfolds. It is good to do some planning, but having strict plans not so good.
So please enjoy the pictures, I didn’t take many in Sri Lanka because I have been there before so the new country novelty was absent, and I haven’t taken many in India so far because if I do they are mainly of sunsets and Pina-coladas.
Well I do hope the post Christmas bleakness of England is not too miserable.
This place is full of Swedish families, they come here for up months on end. It has been explained to
I don't like taking pictures of people so this was sneaky. These girls sang their love to the lord accompanied by the organ I later found out had been donated by the owner of the hotel I was staying in.
me that the at the birth of each
child the parents are entitled to 300 days leave paid at 80%!o(MISSING)f their salary. This leave can be taken at any point up up until the child is eight and can be distributed between the parents (although the man has, by law, to take 60 days). You can take a day a week, or even use this time hourly.
Naturally this is in addition to the standard 40 days a year holiday that all citizens are entitled too.
In addition the Swedish Government has accredited schools throughout the world so the kids can keep up their education even if a place like India.
The above example demonstrates that it is possible to have a successful and modern European country that has policies that put people above profit.
I don’t think that our greedy capitalist rulers would ever agree to this in UK so I think the time has come for a revolution. The only people who truly benefit from our punishing and relentless work culture in the UK are the top one percent. The vast majority of people at home are both time poor and money poor,
I liked seeing these fisherfolk selling their fish as soon as they arrived back from their nightly fishing trip.
it seems that the system is not working any more.
We must rise up dear readers, we must make our rulers listen to our demands.
I would start the revolution but sadly I am busy for the next few months but when I get back who knows?
Anyway, all me loves
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