Bye to India’s Teardrop, on the Way to India

Aluthgama, a little further north up the coast…

SL was nicknamed “India’s Teardrop” by some because of the location in relation to India and the shape of the country –  how it physically looks on the earth. I like it – as a ‘happy teardrop’.

I took another *steamy, packed-full* train as transportation. This time, I sat on my backpack, which I put on the floor in the aisle. People all over me, me all over people, including an older man standing in front of me at a 90* angle, who was scratching his crotch frequently. And, the heat – I think I lost three pounds in sweat! Still, it was fun somehow. And I’m bummed because I heard that the other routes on the trains around Sri Lanka are even more visually stunning, so I would love to travel there again, on the trains, and see the scenery in the hills, amongst tea plantations, etc.

Despite it being fun, I was still happy to see the station sign😊

aluthgama station

aluthgama station

When I got to town, I walked around to find a pharmacy to buy more cough drops for my fourth onslaught of cold/sickness on my trip (anti-malaria pills side effect). It took a little while, but I found some, and I also went to a really nice grocery store😄 It was a chain called Food City. I LOVE LOOKING AROUND GROCERY STORES I’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE!

legit grocery store:)

legit grocery store:)

The (crazy) drug dealer tuktuk driver who drove me to the hotel stopped so we could watch a cycling race, going through tiny Aluthgama😃🚴🏾

bike race

bike race

cycling

don’t stop!

DSC04456

amongst the motorbikes

It was another lovelyyyyyy beach… Not safe to swim, but the sand, sun, and warm water on your toes is plenty wonderful enough!

beauuuutiful

beauuuutiful

sunshiney day

sunshiney day – feet in grass

helipad

small island w/helipad

pano

pano

island - aluthgama

mini island

beach

beach

ahhhhhh

ahhhhhh

traveler's feet tan

traveler’s feet flipflop tan

This is something I saw in Sri Lanka and haven’t seen anywhere else – all of the small shops use discarded school papers to make bags… So smart!!

homemade bag

homemade bag

french?!

french homework🇫🇷

The gas station attendants must’ve stayed up late. When cars drive by you only 10 feet away and you don’t wake up, you know you’re tired (all three of them!).

wake up!

wake up!

My last train ride in Sri Lanka😢 At the station, I saw something too wonderful to pass up without taking a picture.

can't knock it

(retirement goals). I can’t knock it.

And TRAIN GOATS!

train goats!

be careful, train goats! there are trains coming

This was at the Mount Lavinia station – the view is unbelievable. Notice on the train, there are people by the door but they aren’t falling out of the door, like many trains that I saw.

a not-so-full train, and the view!

a not-so-full train, and the view!

Then it was time to leave out of Colombo Airport… good-bye, Sri Lanka! It was a fun and interesting seven days😍 I’m glad that I got to visit, even though I wasn’t seeing Tibet. I figure, it might be cool to see more of Sri Lanka (inland) in the future, and also I’m looking forward to a time in the future when I do travel to Tibet.

Next up: A Passage to India

In “Passage to India”, a poem from Leaves of Grass, Whitman illustrates his amazement by the opening of the Suez Canal (in 1869), which he recognized as not only a way to move goods between continents more quickly, but also as a gateway to travel to Asia and exploring in the world. And this, exploring the world, he linked with spirituality and connecting with God. Below – excerpts from the poem that inspire me…

Passage to India!
Lo, soul, seest thou not God’s purpose from the first?
The earth to be spann’d, connected by network,
The races, neighbors, to marry and be given in marriage,
The oceans to be cross’d, the distant brought near,
The lands to be welded together.
_________________________________________________________________________
A worship new I sing,
You captains, voyagers, explorers, yours,
You engineers, you architects, machinists, yours,
You, not for trade or transportation only,
But in God’s name, and for thy sake O soul.
_________________________________________________________________________
Passage to you, your shores, ye aged fierce enigmas!
Passage to you, to mastership of you, ye strangling problems!
 _________________________________________________________________________
Passage to more than India!
O secret of the earth and sky!
O day and night, passage to you!
 _________________________________________________________________________
Sail forth—steer for the deep waters only,
Reckless O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me,
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go,
And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.
__________________________________________________________________________
O my brave soul!
O farther farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!

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