I awoke to the noises of the street below my room – cars, tuk tuks, people, honking, zooming, shouting – and affirmed that I was in a city again. The only noises I had heard at night in Ella were from the occasional rumble of a truck going past, and a crying baby that lived through the thin wall separating my room from the next. It’s hard to forget that you’re in a city after being in the forest. I had come to Kandy with no plans, as usual, but realised that I wouldn’t stay longer than a one or two nights before I moved to the next place. After living in Melbourne for years, I’ve seen enough of cities. I want less people, less traffic, more nature, more peace. But patience is essential when travelling.
I had breakfast with Steven, which was a strange array of mistmatching foods: three slices of bread with jam, an omelette (I gave mine to Steven), a banana, a tiny tub of yoghurt, and a chocolate bar. Being vegan, I had toast and the banana. When I travel, I love to immerse myself in the food of the country, even if it is very different from what I eat at home. In Australia, breakfast would usually be a fruit smoothie, museli or cereal. In Sri Lanka, breakfast can be anything, including roti, curry and chilli sambal (which I had for breakfast in Ella). It might be a little strange to have such heavy, spicy food in the morning but when in Rome! (Or when in Sri Lanka). Plus, it is mouthwateringly delicious and I would trade these foods for cereal any day.
In the morning, Steven and I found a great little cafe called Buono that had very cheap food and amazing coffee with latte art! A lovely surprise for a Melburnian like me. I still haven’t found anywhere that has soy milk, but some places in cities do have coconut milk. I usually get an americano (or long black, as I would usually call it) and some coconut milk on the side. This cafe even had avocado toast! It was a very Melbourne brunch and I enjoyed it (while thinking that the politicians who claim my generation will never be able to afford a house because we spend all our money on coffee and avocado toast should see me now, paying about 540 LRK or around $5 for everything). After this, I walked with Steven to the train station, said goodbye (I hate goodbyes) and wandered around the city by myself for a while.
It has been raining for the past few days, and I’m realising that it is in fact the monsoon season right now and I shouldn’t be surprised. I love sitting in a cafe or restaurant with my Kindle or laptop when it’s raining, reading and writing while the world continues to exist outside of my warm, dry spot inside. But I haven’t done much sightseeing since I’ve been in Sri Lanka, so I’m going to skip the cafe comfort and see some temples. I’m meeting up with a friend from Australia for dinner tonight, I can’t wait to see his familiar face and hear his stories. For now, out into the rain!