A Travellerspoint blog

Popping Tags Seattle Style

Because my last trip was such a pile of ass, I'm embarking on another...

rain 6 °C

Well readers, it’s time I was off again (but of course!)

Yep, let the blogging re-commence. I’m not off for long really but I know this trip is going to be filled with the type of shenanigans, hijinks, debauchery and tomfoolery you will love. Do you know why? Yes obviously because it’s me duh, but more importantly because I’m going back to Seattle to stay with my favourite ‘Murrrican buddies Ben and Amber!
Oh yes it’s going to be quite different from my last trip which saw me burned, bitten and molested in Sri Lanka. Depending on whether or not you have found yourself reading any of my earlier blogs, you may or may not be aware that I have in fact stayed with Ben and Amber (Bamber) before in Seattle.

It all began long ago on a warm summers evening in McCleod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh – that’s India to you (or some weird country not in England if you find you are female and work in the chippy). I was staying in the same Tibetan household as Bamber whilst volunteering in a local baby care centre…seriously, piss and poop everywhere. We quickly became good friends…we ripped on eachothers accents, smoked a lot of hash, ate a lot of momos, trained a lot of monks and played a lot of cards. When it came to leaving for the next part of my trip, I felt the same as when I left my family. It hurt! Like Mel Gibsons nipples.
I was then away for about 7 months and on the way home ended up changing my ticket to stop in Seattle for a few days where I stayed on Bamber’s couch. It was a fantastic few days which I could only begin to summarise in my blog; partly because of all the pot we smoked, and partly because we did THAT much stuff, the un-condensed version would have rivalled something as awesome and epic as Lord of the Rings and I don’t want to take that away from Tolkien believe me.

So anyway, I’ll be leaving for ‘Murrricaa on 13th March for 10 whole days – WOOHOO! – and yes that does encompass St Patrick’s Day! ;) So watch this space for some truly monumentally ridonkulous stories….


K-Dawwwg xxxxxxxxx

Posted by Lady-K 13:06 Archived in Isle of Man Comments (0)

Buses, Beaches, Bastards & Bad Luck

sunny 28 °C

So I finally made it to Ella on a bastardly Russian train journey arriving around 3pm. I was absolutely haggard-tired after having not slept all night so checked into an expensive (£15 a night) guesthouse overlooking the tunning Ella gap, and had a little lie down before having a walk around town and a Sri Lankan ginger beer. I also visited the doctor for my bed bug poop infested face, and he handed over antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics and god knows what else. It was 6:20pm at this point and I was dying for sleep so I really did have a ridiculously early night. I needed to give my ass a decent rest after it being pounded good and proper by bus seats the past 8 days.

Absolutely desperate to get away from the hill country, and over to the nice relaxing beaches, I decided to get a bus the following morning, After receiving mixed messages about where I was getting the bus from, a friendly old man who was trying insanely hard to get me to buy an avocado bigger than my head (but not bigger than Paul Glover's head) told me it was from next to a curd shop. Curd. Eurgh. Dont even ask.
So the bus shows up and I try to sit down but this old bat is having bloody none of it, racist witch, shaking her stupid shriveled head and refusing me to sit down. A seemingly nice man stepped in and offered me a seat next to him. It was the last seat on the bus that was free so I gladly accepted. Needless to say this was one of the worst mistakes of my life and by far the worst decision made on the entire trip. I wont bother going into what happened specifically. I wrote this blog for it to be enjoyed and for me to be able to read it back when my age-addled mind see's it fit to implode and become too shit to be relied on for referencing previous days gone by. So lets leave it at that.
My bus trip was cut short around 40km before my intended destination. I had no idea where I was or how to get to Arugam Bay, but I did see a wine store so I made a beeline for that and bought a 180ml bottle of Gin (my brother's drink) for £2 and 2 cigarettes, and jumped into a tuktuk...no way was I getting on a bus again. The drive was over half an hour and i was gutted to have to hand over so many rupees when the bus would have been so much cheaper, even if it still only amounted to £6... :-p
Regardless, I got there in the end and checked into Samantha's Folly which was a little beachside guest house and huts. It had a nice little outside bar in the centre with music and wifi, sandy gardens with hammocks strewn between trees, and 4 cute little beach huts also known as cabanas or follies, I opted for one of these at 5 quid a night. It had no walls, and was constructed entirely of bamboo and sarongs, and was padded with some comfy cushions and mattresses (matrii). I met a girl called Natasha here, 21, from London. She seemed up for a laugh; she was travelling with friends but had took a weeklong break from them to be here alone. I told her I'd catch up with her after a swim. Straight down to the beach, towel on the sand, frolicking in the (bath water temperature) ocean, I spy a man sitting next to my towel. Oh here we go, what does he want to sell me....I walked back up the shore and Im greeted by this complete f**king pervert making lewd gestures involving poking his tongue out in one of the most disgusting manners I've ever seen. Enough was enough...time to open a can of whoopass. No seriously, I'd had the worst day ever and this was the cherry on the icing on the cake. Not caring that he couldnt understand my English (and thankfully so given the following expletives which emerged from my mouth) I started screaming at him...I'm not even a racist normally but I was then. I stormed up the beach and was greeted by the hotel owners who swiftly descended on the stupid bastard to give him a piece of their mind also. What a complete ballbag. I spent the remaining part of the afternoon chilling in a hammock and catching up with friends and fam online, and avoiding sex perverts on the beach. Later on, I was having dinner with Natasha and we were joined by Graham who was basically living in Sri Lanka whilst his money lasted. He was a really cool guy from somewhere down south also, and was in his late 40s and had an epic taste in music. He also knew all about the Isle of Man which was nice. We had a few drinks that night but didnt bother heading out since it was pissing rain.

Waking up in my little beach hut with the wind blowing through and the sound of the waves crashing onto the shore was pretty bloody brilliant if I'm honest, though it's a pity I can never sleep past half 7am - . - Decided to take a morning dip, keeping a close eye on any potential sex predators lurking behind coconut trees but thankfully there was none to be seen. At lunch time, Natasha asked if I fancied a bike ride somewhere and I suggested instead of bicycles, how about renting a ped? My legs were still crippled from the Adam's Peak hike and I could barely walk, bend, or sit down comfortably without looking like I'd shat myself so a motorbike was preferable. Thankfully Natasha agreed but on the basis that she had never ridden one before and could I teach her. Sure thang! We paid £4 for the day and i rode us out into the wetlands areas surrounding Arugam Bay. It was all very agricultural, but extremely pretty. Herds of buffalo, flocks of storks, kingfishers (which are huge by the way!) and jackasses on motorbikes passing us and trying to speak to us. We pulled in somewhere quiet and I gave Natasha a 'lesson' and she was away....a bit of a shaky start but she must have felt confident as she told me to hop on the back. Was I really about to do this? I tentatively crouched on the back seat and held on for dear life. She picked it up okay but I felt her nerves and she completely freaked out when we rounded a corner to find a stampede of buffalo crossing in front of us so I had to take over :P Afterwards, I decided to complete my afternoon with a hang out in a hammock, followed by a stroll down the beach which only resulted in being attacked by a grumpy dog. I wanted to see what else was out there but was pretty disappointed as most cafes, restaurants and hotels were closed with it being low season. Good job I'd picked somewhere open really. Back at the folly, I hooked up with Natasha, Graham and a German couple again for dinner and drinks. I had to leave them early that night as my bus to take me to Matara was due to leave at 6am the following morning and I needed to be up early.

Well I made the bus in time and even managed to get a seat to myself. Unfortunately however I was too nervous to get any sleep or let my guard down enough to relax much so it wasnt the best journey. Aside from one inappropriately placed hand, it was pretty much a safe trip though and it would be the last major bus trip of the holiday. Arriving in Matara, I decided it was too bustling and Indian for me so took a ten minute bus down coast to lovely Mirissa, the whale watching capital of the south. I quickly found some beach huts and checked in before wandering around the local market and having some late lunch. Mirissa is a funny little place, I really liked it. A tiny little beach resort with lots of sun sea and surf, and every second guy looks like some jumped up bob marley wannabe knobhead. Seriously, ALL DAY every day ALL you can hear is shitty boomboxes (boombii?) playing repeats of Bob Marley songs. All the guys walk around with afros/dreads/red yellow n green board shorts yet I dont really think any of them know anything about Bob Marley other than one of his albums. They even look black down here. I mean, Indians mostly look sort of brownish but these guys in the south just look black. Until you get a proper look at their faces and see the indian type features, you just wouldnt know. Bizarre. Anyway so the next day I'd booked a whale watching trip and found myself up at 6am sat on a boat that wouldnt leave until 7am, becoming increasingly annoyed at why I had been forced to get up so early to just sit like a dickhead on a boat doing nothing. I was joined by a Belgian lady - well, I thought she was French at first but then I knew she couldnt be French because she wasnt an asshole. She was quite nice, so I asked her, and she said Belgium. And we got along just fine. There were also 2 American girls and a really hairy guy from London. For 4 godforsaken hours we trailed the oceans looking for monstrous blue whales. We were guaranteed sightings but all we had seen at this point was 2 boning sea turtles that looked like they were drowning and clearly had no idea that they had a perverted audience watching, and a pod of dolphins who swam along side the boat for a while. Lovely. But where were the F**KING whales!!!! After about 4 and half hours we found them...they were tiny specks on the horizon but we damn well raced towards them (scaring them away obviously)....how frustrating. Not to worry, we founds some more and got to a close enough distance to have an inspection. Absolutely massive! Unfortunately I couldnt get any decent pics but I will never forget seeing the biggest goddamned most majestic beasts in the world"!! Yay :)
As soon as we returned, I packed up my stuff and hopped on a bus to Unawatuna, which is where the tsunami hit quite badly in 2004. The bus ride was nice as the road ran right along the coast and I got to see the famous stilt fishermen that you always see on sri lanka post cards etc. Most good. So Unawatuna was nice, I got a little lost when I arrived but checked into a hotel on the east side of the beach where the hotels were built directly into the sea following the destruction the tsunami caused. Its stupid really because the beach was almost entirely washed away and instead of trying to do things to get it back, theyve just built hotels as close to the waterfront as possible. On the otherside, a breakwater was constructed and there is a decent spot of beach but it is almost entirely colonised by big fat hairy bumhole Russians.

Right thats enough reminiscing about Sri Lanka for now...will write the rest some other time when I can be arssssssssssed.

K :)

Posted by Lady-K 13:19 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (0)

Ruined Cities, Ruined Faces, Ruined Legs, oh & Elephants :)

Part 2 of my travelling fiascos....

semi-overcast 28 °C

So Leaving Kandy after stealing some wifi from Pizza Hut (which by the way is a rather grand affair in Sri Lanka and even features a grand piano), we were on the bus making our way to Polynarrua thankfully with no armpits or arseholes near our faces. After 3 hours we still seemed no closer to getting there and even made a pit stop at a local shit pit. Other people on the bus told us it would be another 2 hours! Argh. Finally after another hour and half on the road we made it to Polynnarua. A tiny town in the middle of nowhere, and dark (around 7pm) we set out to find our lonely planet guest house of choice. An increasingly irritating man in a tuk tuk was trying to get us to let him drive us to the hotel despite the fact that we could see it from where we stood. What a monumental knobhead. Anyway after some issues with the rooms (ants in the bed, moths on the wall etc) we stuck our bags in and went hunting for food. The same annoying tuk tuk man hassled us for a while until Chul gave in and asked hiom to take us to a nice restaurant, of which we now know there are none in this town). He took us about 200m down the road and made us go into this horrid little 'bar' that can only be described as resembling a bus station toilet. Middleaged men turned to gape at us. It was the dirtiest place I have ever been in. The man came back and rescued us and brought us into the back room where more people stared at us. Seeing our faces, he then showed us into the restaurant. Why the hell he didnt take us there in the first place I dont know. Anyway we were greeted by a young waiter who approached us and asked 'what you want?'....'errr some decent service? a menu? alcohol? food? perhaps....hmmm?' moron. He brought us menus and we ordered however there was then the confusion over whether we were each having food or just one of us. WHAT? Really. I mean, thats not a lost in translation thing. Thats a stupid thing.
By the time we finished and downed our beers we just went to bed as we wanted to get up early in the morning.
Managed to sleep until 9am, and hired 2 bicycles for the day (about a pound each). We began cycling up the road and I realised that my bike had no breaks. What did I expect I suppose. Continuing along carefully, we rode a good 4km to the end of the ruins trail to work our way backwards. The first stop was Gal Vihara which is a big massive lump of granite in which 3 buddhas were carved years and years ago. It was pretty stupendous. Cycling back, avoiding ploughing into monkeys, miniature komodos and lizards, we then stopped at the citadel area of the ruined city which resembled Angkor Wat some. We ended up gatecrashing a school trip of around 100 local children who all desperately wanted the pleasure of meeting me with handshakes. I was tied up with that for a while. We were then approached by a lass from Montreal who wanted to video us doing the harlem shake next to the famous landmark. But of course! Some other visitors mistook Chul for a Korean popstar.
After cycling back to the guest house and stocking up on snacks, we were back on the bus to Kandy. Chul got off at Dambulla so we said our goodbyes. I was pretty gutted to see him go as it was all alone from here onwards.
Checking back into the Old Empire in Kandy, the men asked me to hang on a few minutes because they wanted to exterminate the mozzies in my room. Can I watch? Sure come see. There was this guy blowtorching the shit out of the wooden floor and bed frames. Good job my man! Surely that would do the trick ;)
Apparently not. Waking up at 8am the following morning I noticed that one of my eyes wouldnt open fully.On inspection in the nearest mirror I was horrified to see the reflection of Mrs Elephant Man. Bed Bugs. Little buggers had ravaged my face which was now covered in big red spots. Turning around to check the sheets, I find 2 of the biggest bed bugs Ive ever seen and a bit if a blood bath where my face had been. The woman on reception barely recognised me and asked me what happened. When I told her she gave me half my money back but it wasnt exactly their fault.
To cheer myself up, I hopped on the nearest bus and made my way to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. It should have been 2 buses but after the hour long first one, I jumped in a tuk tuk and asked him to drive me the rest of the 10min trip. Simple? Think again. The stupid asshole made me get out at some shitty half run-down elephant riding centre where the poor creatures were all chained up and milling around. How he could possibly have thought I wouldnt notice is beyond me but I told him where to shove it and made him take me to the right place giving him murderous stares from the back seat the rest of the way. When I got out, I told him he was a bad man. He looked ashamed but probably went and did the exact same thing with some other tourist.
I paid my 11quid entrance fee and was shown down to the nearby river where the elephants were all being bathed, playing and enjoying the water. It was a sight for sore eyes and I must have watched them for a good half hour. On the way back up to have a bit of a shop, I avoided numerous Japanese tourists taking selfies next to huge mounds of elephant dung and wondered what would make a person do that. As I meandered around, the elephants were then lead back up through the main street up to the orphanage. It was so cool as they were literally just walking along side me, unguided and unchained. Brilliant. Up in the orphanage I got to stroke the big daddies and cuddle the babies - you've probably seen the pics :)
After 2 hours, I hailed down a bus back and as soon as I got back to Kandy, checked out and hopped on another bus to Adam's Peak. Seriously spending too much time on gay arse buses. The first bus was 3 hours to Hatton. Shitehole. The second bus was to Maskeliya. Shitehole. The last bus was to Dalhouse. Shitehole. Each bus was horrendous and I was sick of being eyeballed by every single passenger and my ass was weary from sitting on it pretty much all day. But anyway, I got there around 8pm and was thankful for some food as I hadnt eaten since about 9am.
Waking up at 2:30am as instructed by the hotel staff, I waited in the lobby for others to arrive. Only they didnt. I waited until 3am wondering what the hell was going on, when a Germanb couple and a local guide turned up. Why they told me 2:30 I dont know? to annoy me? because its funny? to feel powerful? Or just because they're bloody stupid. Anyway I was glad of company since I had no hiking gear and no torch. We started off at quite a quick pace and I found it difficult to see with the dim torch the guide gave me and styarted lagging behind. The German bumholes steamed off ahead and left me for dead but the guide stayed with me a while. It was ALL steps. Sheer and almost vertical in places, my calves were ruined after 20 mins. I had taken some water but not nearly enoughand I started worrying. The guide then left me on my own and didnt reappear for about half an hour but brough me more water which I was so grateful for. I could barely go up ten steps without stopping for rest when the guide told me he had to go and check on the bastard Germans,. He left me all alone in the dark, and I was looking upwards at the silhouette of Adam's Peak thinking there was no way I was going to make it up there. This was about 5 times harder than the parish, despite being only 7km. Eventually though, I did make it, fifteen minutes before sunrise and what a spectacular view that was. It was fooking freezing up there so I was glad when we got moving again however that didnt last long as my knees started taking most of the pressure on the 5,200 steps back down and a few times thought they wouldnt even hold me up. After 2 hours climbing back down, I was back in my hotel having a hot shower and wondering how I managed it at all. I was really chuffed that I did it though. The first place on earth Adam walked, and simultaneously the last place Buddha stepped from when departing into the afterlife...and also the place where the butterflies go to die.....
Rather than having a sleep it was time to move again so I got on yet another bus back to Hatton where I then boarded the train to lovely Ella which would be my last stop before hitting the beach scene.....wooooo :)

Thats all for now peoples, beaches are calling ;)

Kx

Posted by Lady-K 23:00 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (0)

Sun, Sea, Sand, Summits and Sex Pests - Sri Lanka

My latest adventure into the unknown and all the typical mishaps along the way.

sunny 28 °C

Well I was going to save this for when I get home but there's only so much lazing on a beach one can do before horrible crippling sunburn sets in and forces you to do nothing for 2 or 3 days....
Anyways so here I am in Sri Lanka where I have been for the past 10 days. It feels more like 10 weeks. After returning from my travels in February, I managed to wait around 3 months before booking this trip. Sri Lanka was my choice of destination for absolutely no reason at all. It's somewhere I've never been, it's nice this time of year, has beaches, and culture. Oh and cheap tickets ;).
So I arrived here 10 days ago at around 4am into Colombo and the shenanigans of course began there. After being overcharged by the taxi driver to take me to nearby Negombo town where I'd booked a homestay, the cretin driver admitted he had no idea where he was going and did not recognise the address. After copious amounts of faffing, we finally found it but it was all locked up and dark in a shady back lane. Not knowing what the family was like that I would be staying with, and being 5am in the morning and still dark, I didn't fancy waking them until a bit later and the idiot driver cajoled me into letting him take me down to the beach to watch sunrise. The beach frankly was minging and there were hordes of crows everywhere making a stupid amount f noise. Pissed off and slightly nervous, i took refuge with my bag on the sand and lay there for over an hour. As dawn broke, many an old man passed me doing morning exercises but instead of trying to sell me something or get me to go somewhere, they simply said 'Good Morning!'...My spirits lifted a bit as I was expecting the hassle of India. After withstanding as much as I could of Hitchcock's Birds, I wandered back to the homestay. A nice young chap let me in the door and mentioned they had expected me around 4am. Dammit. As my room wasnt ready, he put me in a bed in a dorm room and I slept there until well after lunch time.
When I woke up there was a young man in the room with me from Denmark called Daniel and after I woke up properly and had some lunch out in town, we agreed to go out for drinks later that evening. Negombo town is a bit of a shithole and kinda a smaller version of Delhi, only with less shit-smell and more fish-smell, and slightly less hasslesome people. Even still, I was the only white person walking about and it was pretty intimidating. Back at the homestay, our hosts...let's called them Ben and Jerry (because even if I could remember their names, I wouldn't have a hope in spelling them anyway) demonstrated all the different ways one can throw a cricket ball....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....uh..what? A country obsessed with cricket, it was kind of expected and it was amusing to watch them so enthusiastic about throwing a ball across the room. Then the news came on TV and a big picture of David Cameron filled the screen. F**k. I'm not English, I'm Manx. Whatever he says, he doesn't represent my country. Honest. Ben translated but it was no big deal anyway so sighs of relief!
By the time we were thinking of heading out, it was pissing down monsoon style and me and Daniel jumped into a tuk-tuk headed for the drinking part of Negombo down near the beach. The first bar was not particularly impressive and we yielded to the Rodeo bar which is mentioned in Lonely Planet as ex-pat haven. It was by far one of the sleaziest bars I've visited...brilliant actually. Fat, balding middle-aged western men in the midst of their mid-life crises getting frisky with 20 year old Sri Lankan beauties, alongside middleaged arrogant hipster wannabe Sri Lankan men with too much gel in their hair chasing after young drunk white girls. It was a great place for people watching, which is what we did, over a few beers of course. We made friends with a girl from Albania and her boyfriend from Dubai and also some mobster guy who kept feeding us prawns. All in all it was a good night ending with a tequila shot each. We shared a tuk-tuk back and hit the sack. When I woke up, I rushed straight across the road for all manner of drinks to wipeout my hangover. Coke, Water, Milkshake and a rotti (meat/veggies filled pancake with spices), all for around 1 pound. Yesss.....
I woke Daniel up when I got back around 11am as he said he was supposed to leave that day at 11 :-l HANGOVERRRRR haha anyway we swapped facebook in case we'd meet up again and I headed down to the main beach area. It was a splendid day so I walked for about 2km along the beach swatting away offers of guided tours, catamaran trips, sarongs and what not. I did get scammed my a man proclaiming to be deaf and showing me some rather questionable credentials as proof though. Here's 100 rupees now be off with you! (50p). No sooner had I sat down, a handsome young man approached me and in very good English started jabbering on about taking me out for dinner or meeting for drinks later. I pointed out that I didnt even know his name and didnt know him at all. His name was Vijay. He persisted, telling me he wanted to be friends, more than that, facebook friends! come have dinner with me! I introduce you to my mother! NO THANKS VIJAY YOU TWAT. LEAVE ME ALONE. Managed to get rid of him but was straight away approached by a woman who I thought was going to start trying to sell me shit. Instead she whispered "keep away from Vijay. He a bad man."...Aw cheers my dear! Her name was Mala so I thanked her for the advice and she wandered off. I felt it was time for me to wander also and found myself a cafe for lunch which happened to be oppoisite the bar from the previous night. "Kaaahsty Kaaaahsty!!!"....what the..!? Someone was shouting me....I looked over and there was a man in Rodeo waving me over. I went to him and everyone began complimenting me on my bollywood moves from the previous night :-/ oops. It was then I remembered something else...a hand in my pocket and I pulled out a piece of paper with a phone number on it. A Sri Lankan man, called 'Bobby'...yeh right, had sent me over a drink and gave me his number and I'd forgotten all about it. Ewwwwww....sleeeeazzeee....After some seriously good prawns for lunch, I bought myself a bikini (apparently M&S...) and went for a swim and was not harassed by anyone. Thumbs Up. It was an early night that evening as I ventured out alone and returned after 10 minutes because of the quiet and dark alleyways and the intimidating stares of the locals...I was taking no risks in a town labelled as unsafe for single women travellers.
The next morning I was up at 05:45 and in a tuk tuk on my way to the fish market which everyone seems to recommend as a sight to behold in Negombo. A sight for sure, a smell most disgusting. As we approached the fish market, there was a big crowd of people surrounded 2 men brawling . One of them was old. I really didn't like seeing him getting punched in the head. Thankfully it was broken up soon enough but as I looked around I realised that I appeared to be the only woman in this godforsaken place. And the only white. Great. This would be fun. The stares began, the name calling erupted, the leering (I kept reasonably covered up thankfully) and the squeezing past and being a little too friendly with their hands. I very quickly sprinted around the market as fast as I could getting a good look at all manner of slimy sea creatures. It was rather interesting. My favourite was big chopped in half tuna fish laying there on the shitty concrete floor everywhere. As soon as I was done (about 5 mins) I hailed another tuk tuk and went back to bed. I got up after a couple of hours, thanked the lovely Ben and Jerry and toted all my shit to the bus station, Kandy bound. I met a nice English couple waiting for the same bus and got talking to them for a bit but they were staying in a different part of Kandy than I would be.
Funny story....When I was in Australia over a year ago, I couch surfed on this guy's couch, called Chul (Charlie). As it happened, he was also n Sri Lanka and we arranged to meet in Kandy so he messaged me details of the hotel etc for that evening. I was looking forward to seeing a familiar face :)
The bus journey was about 4 hours and a bit squished at times but as I had a window seat I got some nice views and managed to note some interesting things I saw. For one thing, every own we passed through seemed to sell or specialise in just one main thing. And it was all you could see until the next town. For example; town number one sold used upholstered car seats. Oh I dont mean in a show room or two, I mean literally fields of them just left in the open. Hundreds of them. The next town was buffalo septic tanks and after that, inflatable beach toys (despite being no beaches, lakes or pools in the area).
Anyhow I eventually landed in Kandy-land and ambled up to the hotel Chul had said we were staying at. The man at the desk seemed to know me and said he was expecting me and that 'my boyfriend' had gone out and wouldn't be back til 4pm. Whatevs pops. I took a walk around town and bought some crap in the market then headed back to shower and chill on the balcony. Finally Chul returned so I plonked my stuff in his room and we made our way through the temple grounds and into the Cultural Centre where we watched a show of traditional Kandy Dancers and Drummers, and silly men walking on hot coals and breathing fire. Pretty cool and well worth the two pound fifty. As we sat there, I actually saw Daniel again who tried to persuade us to watch the cricket later that night (between Sri Lanka and New Zealand). I was interested but when I found out how far it was and how much the taxi/tuk tuk would be, I didnt bother. What interest would I have in cricket anyway! pffft!
Desperate for a beer, I left Chul back at the hotel and wandered into the 'Pub' on the main street for a beer. I couldnt believe it when I saw Somersby Cider...YAY! One of those please good sir! As I waited, an old man resembling the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) but in standard human measurements, began waffling onto me (as I was the only other alone person there probably) and was banging on about how he lived in Kandy and everyone knows him there, he doesnt have to pay tourist prices, they all know him in the pub blah blah...finally Chul turned up and I thought I could be saved however the asshole just kept rambling on to both of us. He was honestly one of the most annoying, arrogant, pompous wankers I think I've ever met. Even worse than Bentley*. Eventually we took off and headed into a proper restaurant for some proper food, with knives and forks n everything. It was great. I had forgotten how much Chul eats until we were sat there ordering god only knows how many dishes. That boy has a serious appetite. He needs feeding every 2 hours. The food was great but we had to head to KFC (of all places) afterwards so he could get a sundae :P

Next morning we got up early and headed straight to the sacred Temple of the Tooth for morning puja (prayer). It was just as fantastic as I had hoped. It is believed that when Buddha was being cremated on his funeral pyre, some lad rescued a tooth from the ashes and brought it to Sri Lanka and housed it in this temple. They only actually show the tooth every 9 weeks or something but we were allowed to see the weird shrine thing it was encased in. People were bringing gifts like flowers, rice and fruit, and others babies. Not for sacrificing though. The whole process took about an hour and the temple was stunning. Afterwards, we went to the Buddhist Museum which is also one of the best I have come across. I wish we had more time to go around it but our bellies were rumbling and we took to a massive cafe/canteen/restaurant place for some curry. I ordered a biriyani and Chul a ChopSuey or something. Anyway whilst we waited, we noticed that other people around us were eating with their hands and decided we would too. Its not as easy as it sounds. Chul had it allll over his hands and I was trying to just use 3 fingers. We must have looked a right pair as we were getting stares from both staff and customers around us.Still. It was great and I finished all of it without knife, fork, or poo hand (left hand). We later went for a walk around the market where I witnessed some of the best haggling I've seen by Chul (though undoubtedly not better than the master of Haggle, Sir Ronnie Russell). A little carved statue he wanted, the haggling must have lasted around half an hour, and no amount of stupid Indian head wobbling was working. He got there in the end though and we walked away with a sense of satisfaction. YIELD TO US SWEET MINIONS!

It was time to leave and Chul had persuaded me to accompany him North to the town of Polonnaruwa where we would see one of the ancient ruined cities. The bus ride was supposed to be 3 hours but needless to say, it didnt work out that way. One thing I will say about catching buses in Sri Lanka, and in India really, is that you have to literally ignore all timetables, routes and timings. Honestly. The best thing you can do is just turn up at the station and randomly shout your destination amid a crowd of people. Someone will point you in the right direction (and probably try to scam you off some money) and you will then ask the driver when does the bus leave. If he says 10 minutes, this can be anywhere from 5 minutes to 1 hour. At no point must you think that your bus will be quiet or have plenty of space. It will ALWAYS fill up to a point that nobody can move. If you ask for a journey time, this can be anywhere from bang on what they say, to 2-3 hours more so have no hopes or plans for that day..Also your fare will differ as your skin does from locals. You will pay more, possibly around double or triple. But bear in mind that its still nothing. Most journeys lasting between 3 and 5 hours cost around one pound fifty so I never grumbled really :P

Right gonna leave it there as its fricking roasting in here and there's some ominous looking folk hanging around who keep staring at me and laughing. My face is THAT funny.

P.s. just to make you all well jealous, the beer here is one pound, the cocktails one pound fifty, and the temperature about a nice 28degrees during the day. SUCK ON THAT! :-D

Bye for now

Kx

Posted by Lady-K 05:11 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (0)

The Long Way Back

(Via LA and Seattle)

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Well quite frankly it is obscene that I haven't completed this blog. I've only been home 6 months. How did this happen? Wen will I go again? It's crazy that I missed this part of my blog because I had such an epic fun filled time in LA and Seattle that I'm afraid I may not even be able to give it justice using my 6 month old memory. Saying that, I have to give it a go anyway because I've been thinking about Seattle a lot recently and I never want to forget the time I had there or in LA..

It all happened long ago....early February to be precise....I left a scorching New Zealand with a tear in my eye ( isn't it weird that tear has 2 meanings...a drop from your eye, or a rip in your jeans/asshole) and boarded my flight to LA. the flight was somewhat delayed and I was worried about my meet and greet service at the other end. You may recall that when I was in India I met a lovely girl called Valentina and shared a room with her in McLeod Ganj...well Valentina invited me to stay and I could hardly refuse...Long Beach was too inviting! Thankfully she stuck around and waited for my flight to get in and we had a good old catch up while she drove me back to her place. The pad Valentina shares with her friend is like something from a home catalogue...it was so nice and I was really grateful that she stuffed me in her bed for a sleep the rest of the afternoon while she went to work :P I woke up feeling refreshed and we headed out for so e top class sushi and a jug of beer. We met Valentinas twin sister there which was kinda crazy as the o ly difference was their hair and personalities ;) the sushi was amazing and afterwards I'm pretty sure we had an early night as the jet lag set in.
The following day Valentina and Catalina took the entire day to show me all the tourist spots which was ace! There was a lot of driving involved because LA is huge and there's so much traffic but we entertained ourselves with Will.i.am. and Britney bitch. We had lunch at Pinks which is a very famous hotdog restaurant. Seriously that shit should have been on Man vs Food. It was heaven. Proper chilli cheese dogs maaaaan. Great stuff. We then went shopping on Hollywood boulevard and stopped for beers before trying to get tattooed in LA Ink - the starting price was $300!!! we also had a great chill out in the hot tub one afternoon recounting fond memories from India and such things.
i was there for 2 nights and we really did get a lot of stuff done but its really hard o remember. Valentina has a little dog called Clayton who i became instant friends with :) i found it most amusing when she ran out of dog food and fed him some avocado instead :p
We had a great night out in Long Beach which has a pretty big gay scene. Not just for big gays but for average and small ones also. Along with Valentinas other friends we had some pizza and wine in the apartment before heading out for a night on the town. A great night was had by all. A strange man gave me a scarf for free, and I got chatted up in a lesbian bar because of my cute British accent ;) all round it was a fantastic night out and I was sorry to leave it all behind. We were all a bit too pished when we got back and not for the first time i ended up sharing a bed with 2 people! its a newly discovered hobby that i am still learning the social skills for.
when it came to leaving, valentina had to go into work (she is a carer) so Catalina kindly drove me to the airport for the next part of my trip...my trip wouldn't have been complete without this visit as I saw a whole different side to American culture and what not while I was here and it was great to meet back up with someone I had met so early on in my travels. It seemed like lightyears had passed! Anyway i wished both Valentina and Catalina well and off I went again to my final destination!

I was most excited about Seattle. Most excited indeed. It was bloody freezing when I arrived which made a nice change from all the crappy decent weather and glorious sunshine I had been on the receiving end of. But mostly I was excited to see my ol' buddies Ben and Amber...we shall call them Bamber from this point onwards. Well as I trundled down the escalator, I spied the lesser spotted Bamber from afar. They are quite hard to miss because of the size difference between the male and female, and also due to the obscenely yellow and orange based plumage of the male. And what fine plumage it was. Ben is scarcely seen without his trademark yellow, mustard, orange, brownish attire and furry hat so I knew I found them. I sneaked up behind them and took them by surprise :) our reunion was joyful and I didn't want that moment to end. Except it was cold and I was tired and we thought we had better move on. I think it was around 10pm when I got in so we took the train back and walked the remaining distance to Bambers flat. The weather was a perfect balance between cold, moist and typically eerie Seattley misty. I felt I belonged. When we got back I can't remember what happened but I imagine beer was consumed. Sheesh. I had 5 nights of this to come! I believe we went for drinks in the famous carousel themed bar where "thrift shop" music video was played. Much to my delight, Ben spent more or less the entire duration of my stay playing this song on repeat. actually it was pretty annoying :p. the night got off to a good start when Amber posed next to a vending machine stuffed with dildos. Yay. And ended with some bong smoking. Yeah I said it. S what big deal....that shit is legaaaaal in Washington :) woohoo! Bamber made a nice little nest for me on their sofa in their cute little apartment and left the door open so I didn't get scared. The next day Ben made us friggin omelettes and mimosas (bucks fizz to you and me) and our day was off to a great start! I honestly can't remember what order we did things in but I think this was the morning Amber took me shopping while Ben was at work? Anyway we went to loads of boutiques and even went to the thrift shop itself where we picked up some freaking bargains. Another night on the beer ( not that the drinking ever ceased) which may or may not have ended with me and Amber drawing a sadistic artistic realistic tortured vagina...for fun (whilst stoned). We have both since been psychologically tested and all is good. But damn that thing taunted us every night. Literally every night we would add to it...photos can be found on fb!
One of the nights Bamber took me to the roller derby...you know that thing in American Movies where a bunch of sexy young lasses kick each others asses on roller skates? Well this was all new to me. Big big big stadium...nachos and hot dogs, beers, Vietnamese rice wine hip flask, pop corn etc. Amber and I got a little drunky and funky but the whole thing was amazing. Again I'm sure beer was drank somewhere afterwards but our nights generally always ended with a bit of the old green stuff too so it all gets a bit hazy. I do know that on one of our nights out we saw some famous drag queens and I ate a meat free hotdog without realising.
i was introduced to the American sitcom 'girls' while I stayed with Bamber. If you haven't seen this, you ought to. It was addictive. Ad I recall at the end of one of our debauched evenings, wriggling my way into bed with mum and da....I mean, Ben and Amber, my friends, smoking a lot of weed watching this programme and completely passing out. To the point that Bens finger was stuck right up my nose and I still didn't wake up. Ahhh it was just like being back in India. My unofficial American family. I was home here. So what did we do the next day? Well I distinctly recall wanting to see Ben in his natural habitat so Amber and I took to the streets of Seattle keeping our eyes peeled and our mouths stuffed with magic brownies. Ben works as a sandwich delivery boy for a company like Subway bu better, called Jimmy Jons. Jimmy Jons has a funny little uniform and all their staff are boys with silly hair. Me and Amber set up a surveillance station outside Bens workplace but when that didn't lead to any sightings we simply walked onto the premises and asked for the one they call'Ben'. He soon came along and got me and Amber a sandwich for our troubles. Yay!

We were literally on the go all the time. If we weren't hurrying about we were drinking, if we weren't drinking we were smoking. I know this all sounds quite bad but it really was very funny at the time. And still is now. We went for breakfast one day in this cute little vegan cafe and all got the biggest Bloody Mary's I have ever seen. I couldn't stomachs mine and neither coud Ben so pint sized little Amber (awwww) drank the lot and got smashed. Don't even try and deny it Amber. Strolling around and doing other fun stuff, we decided to eat the rest of the magic brownies and go t the market by the pier. this market is huge and very busy, and we were small and very stoned. It was a totally ridiculous experience with lots of wavy arm movements and I bought some beef jerky because it seemed like the American thing to do. We also went to the Pike brewery and had some yummy beers
. The best food we had in Seattle was in a place that literally did feature on Man vs Food. It was called the crab shack or something similar. They give you aprons and spil a giant bucket of seafood directly onto your table for you to eat. It was awesome and me and Amber got all drunk and silly which Ben loved I'm sure :p later we rode a bronze pig and drank Moscow mules :)
Towards the end of the week, Amber was failing and growing weaker and was soon not even well enough to leave the apartment (alcoholism does this to you) so one of the nights Ben took me for a walk to get these weird ice cream dumpling momo things and to see a church for Scientology which we bitched about for a while...and then onwards to see a magnificent view of the Seattle skyline at night. It was stunning. And whilst we didn't need any of that magic green stuff, we still did, because its legal and that's what people do there :p

It still makes me sick to remember what an awesome time I had with Ben and Amber because it was my last chance for fun before heading back to reality and I didn't want to leave it behind. We managed to finish our vagina picture in time though so that's something at least. But I miss lying there on the sofa and watching them sleep, knowing that I was safe and waking up in the morning to be fed champagne. It's how I pictured married life. Only less snotty Amber tissues.

One day I hope that maybe My American friends can adopt me so I can have both British and American parents and lead 2 separate and completely opposite lifestyles.

Seattle was a dream and I had the time of my life. What a way to end a 9 month long trip.

It's about time I started planning the next one...... ;) stay tuned ;)

Posted by Lady-K 17:01 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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