May 21, 2016

Sri Lanka - Two Months On!

It has been almost two months in Sri Lanka, after Unilever decided to send me to conquer this nation for the internship (just kidding!) And here I am with yet another blog post about the experience in a South Asian country unlike any other!
First, let me talk about my accommodation. Essentially, it's a large bungalow and I am the only occupant. Only if the caretaker wore business formals, my dream of having a butler would be fulfilled.

The commute to work is a bit difficult, considering the heavy traffic on the Galle road. Even on a Sunday afternoon, it takes 40 minutes to reach office. However, I guess that's completely normal, considering Bangalore is probably the only location in India where the IT interns work. These hour long commutes have given me the opportunity to interact with numerous Uber or Tuk drivers (Autos are known as Tuks here, and an Uber, like in India, is cheaper than a Tuk).

The environment of Sri Lanka, combined with this bungalow, reminds me of Duliajan, where I grew up. This residential area is much like the AGCL Campus. Also, this place has a tin roof, and the sound of the raindrops hitting the roof is very comforting.

Commuting to work made me notice quite a few things in Sri Lanka. If you look at the map above, it shows 16 km to work. When I interchange the source and destination, it reduces to 14 km. That's because of the loads of one way roads in Colombo - it's almost impossible to control the traffic at peak times!

Had it not been for the commute, I wouldn't have made a wonderful discovery - I found the hiding place of the Autobots! Michael Bay, are you listening? I found two Autobots in a single day - this can NOT be a coincidence.

Yet another interesting observation is the respect for pedestrians. Crosswalks are distributed throughout the city, even on the busiest roads and drivers respect people crossing them. I wonder if there are as many crosswalks in India overnight - people would be knocked off right and left.

Thanks to the weekends, I got to travel as well, although it was curtailed by how fragile I had become. I pulled a nerve in my left foot and that got me constrained to the bed for half a week. I also caught a stomach bug (damn you, bug!) due to which I could not join the others on a trip to Sigiriya (yes, that's the fancy rock fortress that I missed!) But I did go South and Central, covering 3 provinces.

I released one day old sea turtles into the sea in Bentota (also found Squirtle!), posed with baby alligators and witnessed Mussooriesque weather in Nuwara Eliya. I tried being Jack Sparrow too, but failed to add the captain into it.

And did I mention the casinos? Casinos here are open only to foreigners (feels weird that I am thinking of myself as a "foreigner"!) I did manage a few blackjack rounds and let's not discuss how that ended, shall we?

It's just a few days until I travel back to Mumbai, but this trip has created a lot of happy memories that I am going to cherish for a long time.

Until next time, Ceylon!

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