Friday, 28 May 2010


I have toothache. It's a painful nuisance and has been making me pretty irritable. You might think I should simply go to the dentist but it's not quite that easy - yes, there are plenty to choose from, but the ones around here are no good, perform extractions as soon as look at you, and have unhygienic facilities, or so I'm told. I've got the name of a good dentist but he's in Galle, a long, tiring, three-and-a-half hour bus ride away, but I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet. I'll give them a call next week and I expect it'll involve three or four visits (probably a crown or bridge will be needed). Meanwhile I'm investing in Ibuprofen.

Right now it's the Vesak two-day holiday. Yesterday (Thurs 27th) was the Poya day - the full moon - which is the more significant day. It's all to do with the celebration of Buddha's birth and life and, with 85% of the population here being Buddhist, I expected a big event.

I decided to take a walk around Tangalle to see what was happening. First thing I noticed was the amplified chanting from the temples. Unlike India, I don't have noise thrust down my eardrums every second of the day and, in fact, the temples here make very little noise. What is more annoying is the airhorns fitted on every large vehicle, and some small too, and they like to use them! But today the noise wasn't too bad and even the temples were quite subdued. There were a few buses about, big and small, one or two lorries, and an unusual number of Land Master hand-tractors, pulling trailers of people, going in all directions. Houses sported sparse decorations, mostly paper lanterns, but it was quite breezy so I doubt if many had their candles lit in the evening. Nearly all of the shops were shut but I did eventually find one to sell me rice and curry for lunch. The place was swarming with flies and, as my forearms were dripping with sweat, they all wanted to settle on me. I couldn't stand it so wrapped the rice up in the plastic sheet it had come in and went back to my guest house. All in all, a bit of a non-event, really!

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