Arugam Bay is a heavy one ….

Sri Lanka, A Country in Transition Order moduretic 25

After 12 hours in a dilapidated bus, cramped by suitcases and boardbags and 25 others, there is only one thing preventing us from our destination: a young soldier thumbing through our passports, the trigger of his gun close enough for me to touch. He eyes us carefully and motions to another soldier to search our luggage. We nervously hold our breaths as they begin to pull out our carefully constructed wall of suitcases from the back of the bus. This could take hours. At some point though, the soldiers decide no additional searching is necessary and send us on our way.

Our bus ride began in Colombo, Sri Lankaa??s capital city. I am slightly on edge, especially since Colombo is often the site of terrorist bombings. I keep an eye out for Tamil Tigers, guerilla soldiers listed by the EU and the US as a terrorist organization, but I am told that if I see one, I wona??t live to tell about it.

We make our way to Arugam Bay, a surfer town on the eastern coast of the country. Our bus driver, I begin to suspect is blind in his right eye, which is clouded over by a milky haze. Nevertheless, he seamlessly weaves his bus past tuk tuks and crowded street-side markets, flying around blind turns, dodging pedestrians, bicycles, dogs and cows alike, and gets us to our destination in Purchase etodolac 600 Arugam Bay without incident.

Plagued by civil unrest and still, in part, reeling from the effects of the 2002 Indian Ocean tsunami, the spirit in Arugam Bay is a heavy one. Hotels, convenience stores, roadside roti makers, tuk tuk drivers, mom-and-pop restaurants, as well as fancier beachside eateries seem to be struggling to survive. Unlike the bustle of Colombo, the town is silent and feels empty and sad, and I wonder if ita??s too late to get on the next flight out of here. Needless to say, I will spend 22 more days in this desolate town.

Sri Lanka, A Country in Transition

Read the rest of this story in our premiere issue.

Filed UnderFeatures Issue 1 / Travel

AuthorLisa Yamada


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