Last Day

Train at Peradeniya station

Train at Peradeniya station

This is my last day in Sri Lanka, or to be more accurate, my last few hours. I shall be leaving tomorrow morning at a “sprightly” 7am. Do not be fooled, dear reader, for I have accomplished much over the past two weeks, despite my lack of diligence in regards to posting on here…My last 2 weeks in Sri Lanka were made a lot better by the appearance of a class full of local final year students, as well as two Melbourne Uni students in my year who were similarly on elective! They were fantastic, funny, good company, full of life, great translators and even better friends. If it were not for them, I would have been homesick and unhappy over here. I now have several email addresses and postal addresses shall soon have, hopefully, a copy of a photograph of 20 or so beaming medical students, all in their shiny white coats!I had a great time over here. From the sibling rivalry and mock fights and banter and random tickling with my little cousin Sasika, to the herd of buffalos that randomly grazed on our road, to the chaotic bus changes every day, to the lunchbox filled with delicious rice and curry and lovingly wrapped in a checkered cloth square by my Aunt, to the chocolate milk that tastes far better here… I have had what can only be described as a vivid and unforgettable elective.This morning, I arose from my bed in Kandy for the last time. My bags were packed meticulously, all my clothes (for a change) pressed neatly. We ate quickly before setting off. It has been raining, on and off, rather heavily, and the sky was heavy with thick grey cloud. We drove through the city of Kandy, which I now know well, past Mahaiyawa train station, over the hill, past the clock-tower, past the Kandy train station. Followed the tracks that ran alongside the new road to Peradeniya, and I saw the University and the hospital for the final time, as we turned away from the city. Down the famous road that winds down to Colombo- a heavy fog clung to the mountainside as we left that mountain citadel- and past the many stalls selling clay pots, then wickerwork, then cashew nuts, then (oddly, bizarrely) blow-up cartoon figures, empty because of the Poya day (Buddhist full moon holiday). Finally we had descended the mountain, and the road drew us closer and closer to Colombo. Heavy traffic went the other way, Colombo-dwellers heading through Kandy to Bandarawella, Nuwara Eliya and other places for the long weekend. Finally, as the numerous small towns we passed merged together into big city, we entered Colombo. I have seen my relatives in Colombo for the last time. As usual, I regret the brevity of my stay here. “Next time”, is what we always say. Tomorrow I shall be having a 12 hour stopover in Singapore during which I am likely to go shopping. In roughly a day and a half, I will be in Swaziland, meeting my cousin, for one of the first times in my life…

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