Beautiful Eye

Based on a True Story

Family Road Trip to the Cultural Triangle

On December 17, 1988 when school had just ended for the summer vacation, we decided to do a road trip of the Cultural Triangle.  This trip was quite risky as the LTTE has just bombed some buses close to the areas we would be visiting.  With my dad as the driver and my mom as the tour guide, my sister and I sat in the back seat and relaxed.  My mom did not want to miss this opportunity to see 1st century Buddhist temples.

Map of the Cultural Triangle

Map of the Cultural Triangle

The first stop on this trip was the Dambulla Cave Temple.

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Live on Korean Radio

I will be live on Korean radio on March 27 from 11:30am to 12pm Korea time to talk about my travels around the world as well as my first book Beautiful Eye. Please download the software at TBS eFM to listen in live from anywhere in the world! I look forward to your comments below.

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My Favorite High School Hangout: Back 20 Years Later

The Colombo Swimming Club was not only my favorite hangout, but was the hangout of many of my friends.  Every Friday afternoon at my school we would gather around and ask each other “where to tonight”?  It was always the same answer.  The Colombo Swimming Club of course.   The Colombo Swimming Club was our place to relax and get away from the parents.  We could drink a coke by the swimming pool and get burned in the sun.  Occasionally we would use the library but it was usually a hideaway for meeting that boy or girl.  The famous snooker table is still here where the “elders” would constantly get in trouble for smoking over the table.  It was so dark in here that you could sneak in a few kisses with that boy or girl. In the outdoor dinning area our favorite food was chips (french fries) with salt and vinegar.  We constantly had to swat the crows to keep them from eating our food.  Those were the days. DSC_0783 DSC_0779 DSC_0778 DSC_0773

Outdoor Dinning Area

Outdoor Dinning Area

The Main Building The Main Building

The Snooker Table

The Snooker Table

Stairway to the Guestrooms

Stairway to the Guestrooms

The Dinning Area

The Dinning Area

Entrance to the Club

Entrance to the Club

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New Badminton Court

New Badminton Court

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Back to Sri Lanka 20 Years Later

Day 1

My husband and I arrived shortly after midnight. Surprisingly we got off the plane by a modern jet way. After entering the airport, the sweet smell of cloves, cinnamon, and incense filled the air. Moving sidewalks, AC, and an upscale mall has replaced the chickens and goats. Immigration took a maximum of 2 minutes to pass through with no hassles.  Today is writing on the beach day in Negombo.  Welcome back to Sri Lanka!

English: Three female Sri Lanka garment workers.

English: Three female Sri Lanka garment workers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


 

 

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How Old is Sri Lanka?

If you had a chance to take my poll last week on How Old is Sri Lanka, then I am sure you are waiting for the correct answer.  The correct answer is #1.  According to my research, stone objects were found that dated back to 500,000 BC.  Please have a look at my presentation for more details.  I am looking forward to seeing many of you in Sri Lanka soon.

Growing up White in South Asia

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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How Old is Sri Lanka?

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sri Lanka Traditional Drum

Sri Lanka Traditional Drum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is just 8 days before I leave and I want to know how much you know about Sri Lanka.  You will be allowed to take this quiz till the day before I leave.  On the evening of Nov 11 (on Korea time), I will reveal the correct answer.

English: Buddha statue in Vatadage, Polonnawur...

English: Buddha statue in Vatadage, Polonnawura, Sri Lanka Français : Statue du Bouddha dans le Vatadage, Polonnawura, Sri Lanka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Hiking to Horton Plains

February 1991

On February 1, 1991, we set out for the  low lying areas of Horton Plains.  The first night we stayed in a guesthouse where we would start our 9 hour hike at 6am and head to the plateau of Horton Plains.

The climb seemed pretty easy except for having to check for leeches constantly.  There are only 2 ways you can remove these guys.  One, by using a lighter and burn them off, or two, use Vaseline to make them slide off.  If the leech already had his head inside your skin, then you got a different story.  You might need some tweezers as well.  By the time we crossed our first river, most of us had an encounter with one of these guys.

When we finally reached the top of the plateau, it was as if we arrived in another land.  The sun came out as if it came to welcome us.
We arrived at the next guesthouse exhausted.  As night started to fall, it became very cold like it does in the mountains.

The next morning we set out for the famous Worlds End (AKA Lovers Leap).  The walk along the dirt trail to Worlds End was also mysterious.  As the fog started to lift we noticed there was no one in sight except for us.  It was so quiet that it felt like an alien was going to jump out at us at any moment.  Sure enough, at the next hairpin turn, we came to Worlds End.  It’s not every day that you get a view like this.

As soon as you reach the plateau heading up from Nuwara Eliya which is about a 1.5 hours drive, one can see breathtaking views of the Knuckles Mountain Range. Horton Plains looks like you have just stepped onto an uninhabited planet. Not much happens here and it is always peaceful. The last time I was here was in 1991 when I went on a field trip from my high school. Please visit my memoir Beautiful Eye to hear more about this story.

As we drove to the trail head where you can hike to see World’s End and Baker’s Falls, I noticed Farr Inn which was a guesthouse my family and I stayed in about 3 times. It is now a museum and research facility. A friendly deer came out to welcome us.

 

 

 

Me Sitting at the Edge of Worlds End

Me Sitting at the Edge of Worlds End in 1991

 

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Getting to Sri Lanka

So you have decided to go to Sri Lanka on vacation.  You have made an excellent choice!

  1. You must have at least 6 months left on your passport
  2. Most countries must now obtain a visa.  The type of visa depends on whether you will be traveling there or working there.  You may apply directly at the Electronic Travel Authorization System. Just pay the fee and print out the authorization form.

How does one get to Sri Lanka?  You can book your trip through your travel agent or directly through the airline.  Many airlines fly from Europe, Asia, and America.  Here are a few to start you off:

Sri Lankan Airlines
Thai Airways
British Airways
United Airlines
Singapore Airlines
Emirates

Location of Sri Lanka.

Location of Sri Lanka. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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