25 Oct - 09 Nov 2010 Unawatuna

Socialist Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka
Adequate double room right on the beach, with 24/7 wifi, a great communal sea-view balcony for LKR 1,430.- or US$ 12.75 per night (weekly rate).
Cooperative and friendly enough staff.

Click below for an interactive road map of the Peacock Beach Hotel in Unawatuna, which we would recommend, and for directions:

Sunbathing on the narrow and heavily eroded beach of our hotel, with the waves of the Indian Ocean lapping against the feet of the sun beds, savouring perfectly organic arrack from yellow king coconuts ("coconut toddy"), looking at the hotel owner's impressive photos from the 2004 CE Indian Ocean Tsunami when Unawatuna was virtually wiped out and our hotel collapsed like a house of cards, digesting the breaking news on the internet about an ongoing 7.7-magnitude off-shore quake west of Sumatra which spawned a 10 foot tall tsunami that crashed onto the shores of Indonesia with 300 people dead, many people still missing and feared to have been swept into the sea, and - since we forgot to book a berth on the Illuminati’s ark - scanning the horizon in front of us for the unthinkable but always possible...; joss lah.
“You might think that, by now, people would have become accustomed to the idea of natural catastrophes. We live on a planet that is still cooling and which has fissures and faults in its crust; this much is accepted even by those who think that the globe is only six thousand years old, as well as by those who believe that the earth was 'designed' to be this way. Even in such a case, it is to be expected that earthquakes will occur and that, if they occur under the seabed, tidal waves will occur also. Yet two sorts of error are still absolutely commonplace. The first of these is the idiotic belief that seismic events are somehow 'timed' to express the will of God. Thus, reasoning back from the effect, people will seriously attempt to guess what sin or which profanity led to the verdict of the tectonic plates. The second error, common even among humanists, is to borrow the same fallacy for satirical purposes and to employ it to disprove a benign deity.”

Konni: Taking part in Niroshi’s pescetarian all-morning cooking classes (LKR 1,200.- or US$ 10.75 per person) and preparing a delicious double-rainbow lunch for two: (i) devilled calamari and (ii) spicy vegetable curries from okras, lentils, and brinjals with creamy coconut milk; yummy, yummy!

Discovering Sri Lanka’s political proximity to Africa when we withdrew a bundle of brand-new 1,000-Rupees banknotes from one of Galle’s convenient ATMs, the latest edition and hot off the press (new money does stink, seriously), which depicts the smirking face of the country’s overweight current president who recently had been democratically re-elected (with 57.88% of the votes in a 74.50% voter turnout), and mulling over the question which new type of paper money we would trust less: (i) a brand-new 1,000-Dollar banknote with Mr. Obama’s worry lines, or (ii) a brand-new 1,000-Euro banknote with Frau Merkel’s double chin?

DM Konni: Joining Rohana’s Sea Horse Divers +94776277622 and scubadiving (LKR 3,300.- or US$ 30.- per dive) in a 4-knot current the 25-m deep shipwreck of HMS “Tango”, an 1886 CE steel-hull steamer from Liverpool which sank off Galle during the southwest monsoon in 1911 CE.

Visiting Roomassala’s Peace Pagoda aka Saama Stupa (situated on the headland between Unawatuna and Galle), a Buddhist stupa, built by the Japanese monk Nichidatsu Fujii who was also the founder of the Nipponzan-Myōhōji Buddhist Order and learning that altogether more than eighty Peace Pagodas had already been built around the world in Europe, Asia, and the United States in order to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds and to help unite them in their search for world peace.

“Peace is a word
Of the sea and the wind.
Peace is a bird who sings
As you smile.
Peace is the love
Of a foe as a friend;
Peace is the love you bring
To a child.”

Listening to the bragging of young European volunteer workers, agents of virtue, and gaining insight into another profitable business line of the global multi-billion dollar welfare/charity industry, into the production and supply of cute and coveted Asian orphans, from the global south for the global north, which follows a proven business model that always consists of the same three main components (very similar to the established African aid industry and to the even bolder Palestine refugee industry): (i) corrupt politicians and their state servants, the main beneficiaries, who facilitate the deals between producers and customers, and who secure the apparent legality of the transactions, (ii) UN, ICRC, Caritas etc., who serve as popular trademarks, and (iii) poor locals (e.g. deprived Asian orphans, brain-washed Palestinian suicide-bombers, dependent African communities) who become the usual by-product, but more often a tragic waste product...

Taking a chill pill and playing carrom, a hybrid of pool, marbles and checkers, very popular in South Asia, using a powdered, 29-inch square wooden board with a pocket at each corner and a set of distinctive disks: (i) carrom-man, (ii) queen and (iii) striker.

Laundering our dirty linen for LKR 40.- or US$ -.40 per piece, washed and dried, at one of the many local neighbourhood laundries on the main road.

Boarding one of the age-worn Lanka-Ashok Leyland S.L.T.B. (Sri Lanka Transport Board +942581120) buses for the short ride from Unawatuna to Mirissa (30 km, 1 1/4 hour, LKR 40.- or US$ -.40 per person) and passing a section of the south coast which is home to one of Sri Lanka’s most emblematic and photogenic sights: stilt fishermen-turned-models.

“Fishermen are born honest, but they get over it.”
(Ed Zern) 

Click below for more blog posts about local fishermen
13 Sep - 18 Sep 2013 Pemangkat
01 Dec - 07 Dec 2012 Xingping
16 Mar - 20 Mar 2012 Banda Aceh
14 Oct - 15 Oct 2010 Galle
02 Feb - 12 Feb 2008 Bombay

Click below for a summary of this year's travel
Recommended books - click below for your Amazon order from Canada:

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