I had two marvelous weeks behind me in the lovely Myanmar prior to landing to Sri Lanka. As I stepped out of the plane, I could feel the lovely warm breeze of air welcoming me to yet another country on our trip. Sri Lanka was a country I had heard so many good things about and I was eager to discover all the beautiful places around the island during the upcoming 1,5 weeks. Myanmar had been a huge positive surprise and I secretly was more or less expecting Sri Lanka to offer us the same type of a great surprise too. I mean, all the good stories I had heard or read about just could not be false, could they?
No they were not, but at the same time they were. Sri Lanka is an extremely beautiful country with countless interesting places to visit. The scenery just takes your breath away in many places, the safaris are great, beaches are paradise like and the weather was just great. Yet, when I was asked how I liked Sri Lanka, I had to say I was not a place where I’d return anytime soon. Oh, the confused looks I got back! So, ummm… like, it was beautiful and wonderful, but you did not like it?! Exactly, you see, the people there…
Even though the one and a half weeks we had were full of positive encounters, lovely and exciting experiences and wonderful scenery, the thing I best remember is feeling ripped off by the locals. Like every. single. day. Basically in nearly every single situation were there was money involved, I was left either disappointed or pissed off. I could not even get out of the airport before I was really annoyed with the taxi drivers trying to rip you off.
Being ripped off by the locals constantly does not make you appreciate the country, no matter how beautiful it is. When you feel like you are screwed over by the taxi drivers, the restaurants, the hotels and even the tourist offices, you sooner or later feel pretty pissed off. And when you are really pissed off with the people less than half an hour from landing in the country, it is not the best first impression to have. And when you have the bad first impression, there has to be quite a bit of good things happening, before the impression turns positive again.
Sometimes the impressions of a beautiful country can be easily ruined. In my case, paying 20euros for an airport taxi for a ride that takes less than half an hour in a country where the average income is around 200euros, or getting a cold and plain tasting rice and curry meal that would be expensive in Finland, let alone in Sri Lanka, or being promised something that will never happen are all things that get my blood pressures high, let alone when similar kind of things happen every single day on your trip…Yup, I was not impressed.
For sure, most of the bad experiences were encountered either in the capital, or on the south coast, which is pretty much the most touristy area in the country. When going inlands, we had much more positive things things to say about the people. If we had not been on the coast, I most likely could’ve let most of the things go with simply just with a shrug of a shoulder, but with the experiences on the coast, it was all just too much.
I will tell about the positive things later for sure, but not now. Now I just felt like I needed to get the negative things out in the open first before continuing. I feel like so many of my previous posts have been so overly positive, that I need to do this between all the ranting about the good stuff. I mean, I do want to keep it real here, and not make anyone believe that traveling is all fun and games all the time,, or to let someone think I select only the positive things I share. At least to me it would feel fake. So, I thought it would be better to change the perspective for at least one post to keep things fresh. And real. Let’s continue with all the positive stuff, say, on the next post!