Communicating with Lankans not as a tourist, but as a business partner of a respectful Lankan, I started changing the already settled during this year opinion about the Lankans. My efforts to understand the essence of Buddha teaching in its simple, not ascetic, but everyday meaning, played far from the last role in this process. I think, you will not object that troublesome people are everywhere, Sri-Lanka is not the exception. And very often, a thoughtlessly praying and praising Buddha person, I am not speaking about monks now, most likely will happen to be a mentioned above troublesome person. The main thing is not in the way how often, how strong and diligently you pray, but in the way how do you put it in your life. You do really good things for people, because you know that you also could be in their tough and gaudy situation, and how much you would like that someone responses your call for help. Life ABC teaches us – There is no fence against ill fortune – and honest to goodness – everyday Buddhist truth. Help another and you will be helped. Evil, like in children fairy tales will be always punished and into the hole dug for another one will get the “exact” person. Those who do this for real, sincerely, honestly and from heart, do not wear orange clothes and shaven heads, I am not meaning monks, just live following this recommendations, please notice that not instructions of Buddha. And this is correct, and I fiendishly like this.
Today I have a splendid day, I came to my Lankan partner, to his mountain guest-house. Five terrific cottages at the peak of the mountain. To say that the panorama from the terrace of my bungalow is wonderful is the same as to say that Paris Hilton is a shy girl. Just try to imagine for a moment that you are sitting on the terrace one hand practically touching the clouds flowing on the same height with you, and another hand holding a cup with excellent Ceylon tea, gathered from tea plantations expanding downhill and going to the valley. Far in the distance, in the mist a black eagle is hovering about having widely spread its meter wide wings and searching for a dinner. Do you feel crawly? Your voice starter shivering? Then you have imagined. I will say frankly that the first video I shot here I decided to archive because my voice in the record was really shivering. This beauty is beyond words. I kept catching myself at the though that I could not help looking covetously at the valley in front of me and the mountains in the far away.
There is coming the evening of the second day of our three-day business trip for meeting with land and real estate owners. Today, as you have already understood, we are in the mountain areas of Sri-Lanka. Mountains, rice fields at their feet and tea plantations up the hill, and of course, incomparable views. The day, honestly, was hard, we were exploring a huge piece of land in a beautiful valley, surrounded with tea plantations. In one part of the land stands the mountain covered with jungles, here and there you see hefty boulders, so climbing and scrambling to the top was really tiresome. A bag with documents over the shoulder (I am not a local guy, just in case) and a camera. I really thought I would die there, out with this Lankan business. Trifle, those were only flowers, but let me tell you the story. The assumed 10-minute walk to the top and taking pictures and video turned into 15-minute way up, which was awarded by the wonderful view from the plateau. Berries was my way down through the thicket of 1 and a half meter high grass, down the same occasional boulders and further walk along the stony bed of the creek. It is really frightful. In other words now it is a creek, but when it rains – it becomes a river. The slope sometimes becomes upright. At the feet, as it was promised to me, a waterfall. You go up you find two more hushes, you go down – you find a dozen. For private land the presence of a series of waterfalls is surely a luxury feature. My joy was alloyed by the news that the river bed must be forced again in reverse. This is to climb up. And again the great Tolstoy suggested me some words to address the situation. So I started climbing. Then we were winding around the jungle, about 5 times I hardly got into slurry – just think where they can be led by starvation, and eventually got to the rice fields. 10 more minutes along the bed of the same river, but, thanks God, without upright ways down and my photo-trip was over. Holy cow! This was definitely beautiful as well as the idea to buy such a piece of land, to start a hotel and extreme tourism activities, and besides you can bathe in the waterfall, So you see, there is something to do. But shucks, when it is life, not under supervision of an instructor or a waiter with cold beer – it is tiresome. Yes, I understand why Sana was insisting that I had a look at the land. The place is interesting. I understand why he turned on the heat to sell it.
By lunchtime we got to Sana residence. 5 wonderful bungalows with awesome view of the mountains and the valley. As it is in reality I have already told you. One of the bungalows is with the bar, 11 speakers and the big terrace– the ideal place for parties. The price for it shot me dead – 35 dollars for a bungalow! You may pack even 10 people inside. If you go in a big company to the mountains of Sri-Lanka and look for a place to stay, than this is definitely a Must Have one! Here your company for sure will not be bored during the chamber dinner in a 5* hotel with Germans and English.
First time when I tried eating with hands. Sana gave me a master-class, and it opened that the secret was simple. If you have not paid attention I will clear. They do not just take a pinch of food and put it into the mouth. If like this you need to throw your head back to let your fingers slightly open, putting your head under them with the open like a squeaker’s mouth, or to leak from the fingers with your tongue and lips. They grab a pinch and throw food on three fingers (forefinger, middle finger and ring finger), bring them to a half-open mouth, and here is the secret – push the food with the big finger into the mouth. That’s it! It is really simple and fun. Of course, all this crap is im my head, but believe me, I really felt different taste of courses. In fact there was no cutlery on the table, at all. Instead, hand-wash bowls. Lovers of shrimps and chicken wings are familiar with them. In clean-living locations they are brought for washing fingers after meals. But here this bowl is used before meals. “Wash your hands before meals!” declared the slogan in my school canteen and I am harping this on to my off-springs. Here, without any problem, no need to go anywhere, everything on the table. “You tip the mitt with your right hand, and you wash your arse with your left one” I remembered again. It turned out that hand shaking is of no importance here, may be the one you are wishing health sincerely is a left-handed person. And he washes his arse with his right hand. The deal is – they eat with their right hand, and do not wash their arse with it after.
So that is that! I will continue practicing. To say a word the luch was good, slightly adapted, but the 100% Lankan dinner, or as they call it here “lunch”. For those who is not aware, our supper is their Dinner, what is for Lunch in our understanding. In word, as at rotting bourgeois’. The chef, as we revealed, is working first day today, and seeing his boss with a dear friend he has made his best.
During the talks, tea, beer and other kind of fun the day gradually came to the end. The wind got cool and I felt a bit chilly on the big terrace, so I walked to my bungalow to change and to describe my impressions.
When I was started writing my story the valley was just meeting the evening. Looking over the monitor I saw the valley, covered with evening mist. Shadows gradually became thicker and softer, objects became smudgy outlined and lost their focus. Still warm after the day’s heat but slightly cool wind is coming on somewhere from the mountains and as it were the hand of my Alyonushka, waiting for me with the children in Unawatuna, is ruffling playfully my hair, and crops is rustling and swinging under its breath. Step by step night is taking its rights and is submerging the tea valley into dreaming. I am sitting on the terrace, my notebook on the table and only chirp of locust and squawking of small heckons on the ceiling bothers the silence. Sri-Lankan time is 19:30.
Today I, as never, brightly and clearly felt that Life is truly wonderful, amazing and interesting! You just need to believe in good, be honest and open-minded, help people and remember – everything will be alright.