Elvis turned on the radio, maybe he was searching for himself, aren’t we all in some way? Faded memory tells me I discovered myself when I was around 12 years old during an episode of Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols aka Lieutenant Uhura was probably too much for most adolescent males of that era 😉
But I digress this is Sri Lanka some thirty years later and Elvis is our taxi driver intent on ensuring we see everything. Elvis suggested he take us to the Spice Garden, I suggested maybe he could think again. The Princess (different princess, this is a few years ago) thought it might be good, well I suppose one of us had to be amiable, but she hadn’t pooed her pants two hours earlier. A nice man showed us around, he offered me some leaves – I was about to eat them – the Princess squealed and he grabbed my hand, ‘I think he wants you to smell them,’ she said. Sorry, but if you shove something in my face I’m going to eat it, so we wandered, smelling things then he presented something that looked like a cross between Angel Delight and mud – again sadly not edible – this apparently was going to be spread on the Princess’ face and after a few, ‘no,no,no really it’s fine.’ she got plastered, lets just say it didn’t smell like Angel Delight and I wasn’t about to taste it. A few minutes later with a fresh faced partner Elvis took us off again. After a short drive – surprise! – he discovered (yeah right) two children with a Porcupine at the side of the road.
‘Aha, you want to have picture of Porcupine?’ I looked into his rear view mirror, ‘Not really,’ but after a dig in the ribs. ‘Yes we’d love to.’ Out we got, knowing the kids would want a tip I grabbed some change. Smile, click, tip and done. Then I noticed the women in the river doing the weekly wash and walked over to investigate when a bunch of children approached me. They lovingly held out there arms and I thought I would divide the rest of the change equally. It took them about 2 seconds to prise my hand open and grab the money. They then started clamoring, have you ever been clamored by a bunch of kids? I legged it back to Elvis and we hit the road once more. Next time a checkpoint, a soldier with a knife and a Mango then there’s that toilet ;-(