sri lanka new year dishes

Happy Sri Lankan New Year! [YQrtw Day 7 Apr 14]

This morning at around 4 a.m., I was startled by what seemed like gun shots. I was too lazy to get out of bed to check out what it was but my extremely myopic eyes saw bursts of color at the window.

Fireworks!

Later in the morning, as I was packing for check out, one of the caretakers of the hostel told me to go down for New Year celebration.

A glorious spread of sweet things were on the table when I got down. I’m most glad that I didn’t have to worry about where to find food for the morning.

Sri Lanka New Year treats

Everyone got a chance to light the oil lamps.

My photo was taken by an older French man who didnt know Instagram.

The sweets were really really sweet. I had a hard time biting off some of the pastries but it was a great sugar rush.

Look! The president even sent me (and probably millions of others) a message for the new year. Haha!

[Today’s summary: New Year feast. 3rd class train to Colombo, during which some passengers confronted a monk who might have harassed me. It’s complicated! Stayed in new hotel room after late-lunch/early dinner. Off to Dubai tomorrow night!]

Though I had bought a second-class ticket from Kandy to Colombo, I was worried the train would be delayed and I would arrive at the capital in the middle of the night.

So I bought a new ticket. Only third-class tickets were available and I didn’t think it would be that bad.

While the train was at Kandy, I boarded it and found myself sitting with a large family.

Then an old monk, who was sitting in the next carriage, caught my eye. He nodded at me and then came to my carriage to sit across the aisle from me.

We chatted, a bit.

Then I felt uncomfortable as he put his hand next to the edge of my seat. I didn’t want to offend anyone else for brushing against the hands of a monk, even an old one.

But his hand remained there for most of the trip. And I was extremely uncomfortable.

I looked at the ladyfolks for help but they didn’t give me any signals.

The train got more crowded. Many people had to stand in the aisle. But the monk’s hand remained there.

It was until late in the train ride when a young man in a purple shirt confronted the monk.

They had a heated argument which I didn’t understand. The young man gestured at me. Then told me to shift my seat.

I was afraid I would be thrown off the train for being in physical (though just a hand) contact with a monk.

But the young man turned to me and asked, “Did he harass you?”

Honestly, I didn’t know. Did that count as harassment? Was I thinking too much?

“I don’t know.”

The young man said, “Hmmph! Tell me if he did. We need to bring these people to the police.”

I still don’t know if the monk had deliberately grabbed the edge of my seat or was innocently trying to keep his balance.

It’s hard to say…

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

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