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  • Writer's pictureKirk

The People of Sri Lanka

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Sri Lanka is an island nation off the southern tip of India. Twenty-two million people reside in this small country. The people resemble those of India, not surprising due to the proximity. However, they differ from India in religious make up as they are predominantly Buddhist as opposed to Hindu.

I will start by saying Sri Lanka is not my favorite destination. I will emphasize that comment further by saying it is likely my least favorite of countries I have visited. This is simply a matter of preferences as many who have visited will heartily disagree. The country simply did not appeal to me. Among the reasons is the unreasonable traffic on the highways and the lack of etiquette in queues.

The traffic is the most insane of any place I've visited. And I've been to a lot of heavily congested cities. I know many countries take advantage of every inch of road, especially break down lanes, but here even the center dividing line is not sacred. I'm used to some infringements over the line, but here it's almost like the center line does not exist. Additionally, it is the survival of the biggest. I've seen the big buses come down the road with the expectation of the parting of the Red Sea. Also, everyone is honking their horns in stifled traffic. Why? No one can move. It's just nuts!

As for etiquette, forget it. If you are standing in line at an ATM or a food booth that is busy, expect people to just step ahead of you. You have to be aggressive and assertive to hold your position. I have the personality for it, but many do not.

Yeah, not my favorite place. But there is some beautiful scenery I will cover in upcoming posts. Today I want to focus on the people of the capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo. I hope you enjoy the pictures and the commentary:

The people look very much like India as previously stated.

The waterfront was always crowded. You can see the city in the background.

I enjoyed watching the children enjoy the beach as all children do.

No shoes!

This is a common siting. Entire families riding on a motorbike. Sometimes even more than the four you see here.

Even the local trains are packed. No thank you. I'll take a taxi since they are so inexpensive here. I rented a car with a driver on this trip a few years ago for around $50 per day. The driver slept in hotel accommodations designated for taxi drivers at the same hotel where I slept for the night. The drivers all sleep in a type of bunk house when traveling with a client.

It really livens up at night. Many food kiosks and people selling their goods by the waterfront.

In an island nation the Coast Guard is huge.

Hanging at the waterfront is the norm.

Small Tuk-Tuks (or maybe they call them rickshaws here I don't remember) in front of the bus. The sightseeing bus looked like it was full of locals or perhaps tourists from India? I never take these bus tours.

My favorite picture of a local. He didn't seem to mind my photo shoot. Love the hat!

That's a brief essay of the people and situations I encountered in the capital city of Colombo in Sri Lanka.

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