red

Back in Colombo for two days. Something has changed… I didn´t pay for the bus trip from Bentota to Colombo. I didn´t pay for any kind of public transportation at all. No tuk tuk driver followed me. No silly attempts to trick me – how can I take revenge now!

My mission for the first day, get the permission to enter Jaffna up north in two more days and book a seat on the train. So I went to the Colombo Fort Railroad Station to ask at the Tourist Service Office where to get the mysterious permission the government just set up a couple of weeks ago. Some say because of the result of some house searches, as they found some documents indicating that drug and weapon business has started again, launched by foreigners – might claim the corrupt government. Anyway. As a foreigner you need this piece of red tape parade confetti. At the office I was told to apply at the Old Parliament, 10 min walk from here. Easy. No problem. After asking at the gates of the parliament, it appeared that I have to go to the Ministry of Defense, which is located nearby. 20 min search. Easy. No problem. At the entrance of the ministry, which is structured as following, a roofed entrance for vehicles, with an underground sort of a settling, to inspect if they don´t carry bombs along, guarded by MPs and other more odd than hazardous looking guys – peacetime. Easy. A small building aside, through which the pedestrians have to walk and to register. The way to go. A grotty room. Five wooden paint peeling tables. No phones, no computers, barely something on it which looks like administration. Cheap red plastic chairs. A nonpictorial calendar on the wall, mold on the roof. A lousy cabin for body checks. Nobody speaks proper english. The duty officer or what rank so ever, told me I have to wait 30 min, because “not working now”. And I am not allowed to enter, because of my shorts, you have to wear trousers and at least a t-shirt. No signs outside or anywhere of this show off of necessary subservience. It has fucking 37 degrees outside! And I don´t respect your stupid salute game anyway. No problem. “Wait here 30 min.” I filled out a form and started to wait, everything seemed to be alright and easy. 1.30 p.m., after two hours I was hungry, didn´t had braelfast, lunch or a sip of water. No problem, stay seated, “Wait 30 min”. And suddenly something was going on, like efforts, something like you could call work. The two uniformed ladies opposite to me were drawing with a pen, which was also used as a drum stick before, mutual their palms, giggling. The guy next too, anti bomb squad was balancing absent-minded a ruler on his wrist, the other 8 duties in the room, military police and soldiers did the same, nothing, just randomly standing up, walking around, advicing some passengers, returning from toilet, bringing lunch, playing games on their mobile phones and staring at me, investigating my tattoos, that was it. And if this wasn´t enough exhaustion to watch them, the whole gate seemed to be freezed as an helicopter arrived, two, picking up the president, on his election campaign. That causes another two hours during literally nothing happened, only more soldiers joined, some high ranked, doing the busybodies. So we, the civilians, couple of locals and me, were stucked, for another two hours. Anyway I didn´t had my permission yet. I tried to be, I always try to be respectful and polite, without efforts, but especially at silly facilities like this, but this was just comedy. My inners turned into a knot, like when you feel you will explode very soon, an emotion bomber, scattering all his incomprehension and scorn, cursing their waste of life. I had chats with some of the locals, my inmates, one commented this act with “Time is rest”. I answered, “This time is waste, my friend.” He explained me more about his theory, another religious bullshit. “No! TIME I-S W-A-S-T-E. Watch them!!!” Religion as a calmer and military as a treater, guess how I felt. After five hours I left the building. The president hasn´t arrived yet, special forces on motorbikes, hooded, heavily armed forces, securing the entrance. What an absurd spectacle. Finally I did it, and my ticket subsequently. Good ridparade.

As I entered the dorm back at the hostel I exploded finally but into little happy bits. Who is sitting there, next to my bed, Jaime, my friend from Brazil. We were ending up, after the amazement, giving us a hearty hug, we know how hard it is to find pleasant company. And how lovely to meet him again. How lovely, Jaime. And you are just happy, because of how coincidence works and being a part of. – Jaime and Jose, you guys are killing me, each of you in his very special way. “Scheisse.” and “How much.” I can still hear the echo of your heartiness.

And some sad news in the end, I buried my flip flops today. After 8 months my loyal company, in wet, soggy, stony, sandy, salty, dusty, in good times and drunken times, you have always stick to my pace, I always loved you, but now you have to rest, on a dump outside Colombo city. I am sorry and don´t you worry, I already found a beautiful new pair. Everything is substitutable, even loyalty.

note

Sitting inside the AC-cooled fastfood-hall of Pizza Hut, directly at the window, a display window, with a bunch of tuk tuk drivers outside, pointing at me with forefingers and puffed up eyeballs, applying for permission to take a picture, feeling a bit odd and alienated, looking at a begging mother, sitting beside the driver´s excited and impatiently hopping feet, on the sidewalk, with her (or a) crying kid in her desperate embracement, spoiling my appetite – in a highly and only salutary way, during I am wolfing down the cheesy fast baked paste, just not to have eat rice again. I am thinking of ordering her a pizza, because I don´t like to give money. How silly. – I don´t know how it works here. But who cares, she will care, if nobody provides some bills.
Perspectives hopefully never stop changing.

oh

Colombo, oh dear (not yet) my Colombo, you rip-raped city. I found myself creating a story of a silent vengeance for the two contemptibly – welcome to my world of hate and viciousness – drivers and scumbags, who tried and mucked me on my first two days in Sri Lanka, which has happened to me not only once that insulting on my road. I have to admit, they are pretty clever, great job, which arouses me even more. Coined a life and credible story, without a question mark between the lines. Taking unscrupulous advantage of my naive believe in the good appearance. Not pretending at all, I decided after interrogating and investigating them – they belong on stage! And they are far from, me, tolerating them, means, I could only despise them, but being able to understand why and wouldn´t have a problem being fooled. It´s not only about my traveler proudness, more surprises me their unscrupulousness. And I don´t want to be, move, travel, enjoy and discover my passion for a culture, being always aware and trust nobody, literally and without exception. SCORN! So my dissapointment and defamation puzzled out an exit strategy without blaming myself more than bearable. Passing the president´s residence, which you are not allowed, not as a civilian, only by the sidewalk on the other side of the road, but no sign at all informing you about this legacy of war, fear and suspiciousness – absurd routines of governments showing off their power and weakness at once. The frontside of the residence to Galle Road looks like a Lego bricked camouflaged – we are still in the center of Colombo – fort of a kid´s wonderland. The security guard on the watch tower was gesturing as I approached. I waved back, smiling, being not aware about the – undisplayed – restricted area as I mentioned. Surprisedly, wondering afterwards he wasn´t jumping out of the sewerage or revives off the sidewalk´s pattern, a soldier was confronting me with his machine gun, the barrel nearly punching my nose, trying hard not staring full of curiousity on my tattoos, but making an angered appearance, with his sweet mustache and beautiful angular perfect long face – a Sri Lankan Daltons brother, commanding me to the other side of the road. “You can not walk here, go.” No Sir, no civility in his voice. Pointing with his gun barrel, my nose and me still in the target line, to the opposite. So what would have happened if I kicked him in his nuts or peeing at the ludicrous watch tower. Days of terror and questioning, but finally I would have to leave Sri Lanka, with a don´t-you-ever-come-back ticket in my pocket, recorded, marked, forever. Put India on the banishment as well. Sri Lanka is for me a move forward next to the idea of traveling India. Not yet very successful. And all this because of four morons. Sad but corny. Colombo itself reminds a bit of Tel Aviv. With its long coastline, the misty light, the luxury hotel complex next to and its hustel and bustle in the backyard of the refreshing breeze of the sea. I honestly like the city. It could be a bit more dirty. Haven´t seen one plastic bottle trashed ignorant, even not accidentily. Haven´t found one public bin for my plastic bottle. Tremendous construction sites. Luxury hotels and apartment buildings. Prosper gem and jewelry business. But very few western expats, companies or brands. No 7eleven. But Subway. And McDonalds and KFC, Pizza Hut, disalienated already. Step by step it seems to become a surrealistic collage of Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi. Chinese companies are welcome to invest and support, to improve the whole country at one strike, the president speaking. Building highways, skyscrapers and providing the knowledge for. With India the strongest investors. Haven´t heard about european companies, except I have seen Deutsche Bank, opposite a german restaurant, with dishes I have never seen in Germany. Made in Germany, a western brand. Gosh.

I woke up today, on my third day, promising me not to trust anyone, not to follow anyone, not even to talk to someone more than necessary, more than “Thank you, I am fine and yes I do like your Sri Lanka, but not your Colombo” – and I would appreciate to love my Sri Lanka. I am sure this country has a lot more to offer. And even the scumbags told me I should leave Colombo, because it is a shithole, not safe. Haha, what a joke. The mountainous area is an eye opener. Maybe I can open my heart than as well. Till now it is bared. Restricetd area, no sign, but decline.
Three hours later it happen again. “How are you, Sir. “My name is” – I didn´t listen – “I work at the hotel” – I didn´t listen – “at the reception. I am free now. I can help you.” When I conversation starts like this, leave. Or break his nose, my greetings, and then leave.

Maybe I am just on the wagon, one week booze-free, running every morning, put myself in motion, preparing my lungs and my consciousness for some amazing trekking inland. Maybe I shouldn´t expect that much. Expactations are always a hassling risk. And again, I have to surrender to the idea and admit, YES! I am searching for harmony, even if I need chaos, but can´t there be both? Isn´t there both or an illusion of all? I wait and see. Probably the best choice in a tea country like Sir Lanka.
Bad traveler performance.
New day.
Next day.
Happy day.
Fuck off.
Leave me alone.
Don´t talk to me.
Shut up!
Cut my tongue.

I walked after the third and unsuccessful shot to trick me, into a micro slum, behind the railroad track, after the crestfallen scumbag instructed me not to go there, rather to join him and his lunch break, “just an hour, my friend is a tuk tuk driver, let´s go.” The poorest are the most honest people I met. Inviting me for a simple dish, home-made schnapps or sex, like in this case, but always without greed or pressure at all. Appreciating any kind of attentoin for them. But not enough for the failed, having lost, thinking they missed their chance, blinded by an illusion of a career, putative close, knnocking at the gate to prosperity, infected with greed, fearing social relegation or collapse, being aware of there is no return, trying to avoid at all costs. Understandable, but not tolerable. They make it worst, for the poorest and for themselves. Still, you dwarf silly beans.

orange

At 3.30 am wake-up call to leave Bangkok, off to Sri Lanka.
After three days in humbug city, enjoying a chat with an old sailor from South Africa, who did a stopover in Pattaya, delivering a catamaran to Singapore, who has circled the globe already three times, living on a boat with his scottish wife for not less than twenty years – I know, terrible romantic, “There she blows!” terrible me. – Avoiding successfully booze and the silly strangeness of Khaosan Road, delaying a highly necessary, but not that urgent – no pain, no rain – visit at a dental clinic till impossibleness, instead chatting with a tattoo artist about my next ink session, I did nothing than churning some smoggy dust in the dirt. Reflecting about my unpassionate desire for a females´ glance, the odour of an adventurous hormonal satisfaction. Why I don’t give a fuck about a fuck, for fuck sake! Why I have to be ashamed. Why I feel psychological sick, affecting my body with exclusion and disgust. Why love doesn’t open it’s heart or why I need this stupid pumping organ anyway. Why I don´t think more down-and-dirty, if I am already there, you rotatable dick! Breaking the patterns into pieces. Even if it hurts. No there is nobody waiting for me out there. What a infantile naive fiction. How men tries to find relief in this lubricious imagination – where there is no solace for a grieving bum. I am a freak. Everyone of us is a freak, especially the freaks who putting so much effort not to be, to be upright, be safe, fullfilling their duty to live a happy life. You are the show, even if you put me behind bars. You run the show. I wished I’d could refund the entrance ticket.
Mother love me.
Father be proud of me.
World accept my legacy.
Here is your ticket, blown into heavy acid pieces.
And it turned out quite barbarous in the early days, this was never supposed to happen, it’s a loop, a hula hoop, strengthens your fears and anxieties, deported to believe and spread your gens into the vast of the universe.
Anger. Self-hate. Need of self-worth. Leading to shame, compulsion under compulsion, maturating into anger, repulsion.
This was Bangkok. Beside, being surrounded by travelers, hanging around in the lobby of the hostel, sharing, exchanging, competing their experiences and plans. Me? Sitting off target, pretending being in my world, which is actually true. I don´t want to talk, answering question where to go why to go, instead to go, somewhere to feel like everywhere and in the center of all-what-is. Tolerating their admiration to live here, free, independent, achieving your dreams. I can see it in some of their shifty eyes, feeling normal and boring. Yes, I live every day my dream, without doing nothing for, no suffering, no self-doubting, no self-beheading, no nothing or everything at all, because this is paradise, so true, you, you – YOU! – nothing.

Suvarnabhumi Airport, couple of torture chambers later – I was with another white, but the rest of the economy class an army of traveling believers, mainly elderly, uniformed, men debonair in the typical tailored asian dress, which only suits them, not the rest of the world, looking like ludicrous descendants of Bruce Lee or a madatory of Confucius. Bluish grey two-piece. The women in white shirts, scrolled colourful, in a golden longyi. Carrying white sling bags, adored with finely embroideries, orange and green, with “Assembly is happy and good life” in sanskrit and english of course. A grey hand luggage, with an ID card on, name and a picture, identify them from Shan State, Myanmar. Some of them monks, representative rolled-up in orange sheets. My window seat was already occupied. I didn’t claim for it at the check-in counter anyway and I assumed they will be for the first time of their humble lives above the clouds. Then they will see, there is nothing, just extensiveness. Of course you want a window seat to discover, me sitting curiosity at the ready in the last row. The without exception female SriLankan Airline crew wearing Saris, petrol, with an hydra of blueish orange peacock eyes printed at the front, disclosing a uncovert look on their chubby naked hips. I felt delighted – fuck off western ideal of beauty. As the plane took off, the flying tunnel was saturated with devotions, asking presumably for permission to enter the never-ending kingdom of heaven. After an aweful english breakfast – hail colonialism, I fell half asleep and I felt the back of the cute old woman next to my seat, leaning against my shoulder, the snore plucking up and down her spine. I didn’t question, turned her back on me or not, and interpret it as a sign of confidence, just to sob inside me, touched, like a monkey at a temple, receiving a peanut.
And I mantraed to myself, “Today is a new day, a day full of opportunities, everything can change, all at once”, feeling blessed.