I was 4 months pregnant.Dom and I had only been together for ten months.
Cinnamon, MIA and Michael Ondaatje
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. Our first trip together, our last trip together without our daughter who was just the size of an avocado inside me at the time.
During the 6-hour stop over at Singapore airport we lay on the banana lounges outside the butterfly enclosure. I was thinking about the Sri Lankans that I had met while taking a photography course at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and went over what they had told me about the civil war that had come to an "overwhelming and unmerciful" end in the hands of the Sri Lankan Army over 2 years prior. I also wondered what it would look like 6 years on from the devastating Tsunami.
The very first impression I had was the military presence. We flew into Colombo and on our drive from the airport to the hotel we were pulled over by armed military personal every 5 kms. When we woke up in the morning right by the sea with a checker board patio this impression remained as when you looked up an armed guard hovered in the building above and a navy ship sat directly out at sea. As well as the military presence the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has a huge following among the rural Sinhalese population, also has a constant presence.
It's Papaya and lime and coconut and fish. It's sweaty sex 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, when I look back over my images of travel.