Welcome to the Common Sense and Whiskey Companion:
Here are some photos from Common Sense and Whiskey, chapter 9, Sri Lanka. This visit happened in 1999.
You can buy professional prints of most of these photos in the Sri Lanka Gallery.
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Or, go back to Chapter 8: Guangxi Province, China, or on to Chapter 10: Madagascar
An outrigger on Negombo beach, Sri Lanka.
Some of the fishing fleet was already back on Negombo Beach shortly past dawn. Here they're stepping over nets, untangling and setting them right for the afternoon.
Sheldon, a slight fellow, just chest high, showed me his catch, in a crate, a few gross of five or six inch mackerels. He took me to meet all the others and see their catches, too. Here's a typical catch.
He led me to his house, just alongside and between a couple of beach hotels, shoreside from the road, among a sprawl of a dozen thatch huts. Sheldon built it himself. It was before the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and I don’t know if it, or Sheldon and his family, are there anymore.
Outside Sheldon's place we met this lady with a mighty tooth.
Provincial elections were to be held the next day. Election posters covered the buildings.
The road to the elephant orphanage, highlands of Sri Lanka near Kegalle.
All these elephants had become separated from their families in the national parks or in the wild; Maybe their families were shot for their tusks, for example. One had his right front foot blown off by a land mine.
A beaming boy in Nuwara Eliya, sleeves rolled up to his forearms, stood before a videotape and chocolate store chopping garlic and spring onions on an ancient stovetop. It smelled delicious.
Next time you're in Bandarawela, I recommend this place. Mirja went in with a cold and came out hair up, oily and grinning.
While Mirja was in there, a family down the street invited me in for tea. They placed a tiny cup in my lap and the whole family of eight watched me drink from it. Here's the youngest, a shy little beauty.
At 2:45 two guys named Nandiga and Chaminda showed up at the Oasis Hotel at Hambantota in what had formerly passed for a jeep, and away we went to look for elephants. Found 'em.
Famous mask factories make special masks for exorcisms at the town of Ambalangoda. You can see masks of each of the eighteen Sanni Demons.
At Kasgoda beach, the surf crashed hard forty meters away. I rented a fridge for $3 a day and six Heinekens were in there cooling. The sea sounded a dull roar, and palm fronds caused a wind- whipped tempest. Occasionally a manic low black cloud raked the manicured lawn with water-fire. The earth was vividly, furiously alive.