Michael Ondaatje wrote one of my favourite poems; The Cinnamon Peeler, which I photocopied and gave to my partner Dom when I fell in love with him so Sri Lanka seemed an apt place to go for our first trip together and also our last trip together before our daughter was born. She was just the size of an avocado inside me at the time.
Sri Lanka was papaya and lime and coconut and fish, sweaty loving and filling in all the life stories for a better picture of each other. Often the way I remember a place is out of the corner of my eye, I always feel very inspired to take photographs when I travel. In these images it is a romantic trip, a visited place, the texture, odd moments, colour, an air of sadness, emptiness and many glimmers of excitement and hope. The experience of the privileged tourist. Also on my mind was how I would tell our daughter what the promise of her did for our romancing holiday, every moment was savoured and moved through with a more special thought of the future with her.
The very first impression I had of Sri Lanka was the military presence on the drive in from the airport late at night and then when we woke up in the morning at an old British hotel by the sea, with a checker board patio, this impression remained as when you looked up an armed guard hovered in the building above the pool. The first day we were there was a Sunday and though it was a very grey day, Sunday was being enjoyed in full force with hundreds of bright colourful kites, ice cream trucks and canoodling under silver umbrellas. We took the train from Colombo down to a hotel on Tallala beach. You didnt have to travel far to see the affect of the Tsunami, though the houses that remained or that had been rebuilt were amazing. Perfect hot weather and outdoor lifestyle concrete structures painted bright turquoise, terracotta orange and pale blue. In general the people were friendly and accommodating, proud and brave and those we spoke to on the trains and in hotels seemed pleased that a sense of calm had been restored and that tourists were slowly returning. continued in part II.