Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Exploring Hatton January 18th 2013

Exploring a bit of Hatton...

Room fixed up and with bags secured, locked and alarmed, time to go forth and explore another town. Anyway up around here is going to be good for a scenic view I should think, and since Dunbar Road leads up, well, rude not to I suppose.  Uphill with a cooling breeze in the opposite direction, under a blue sky with just a few of those fair weather clouds passing, about 28c I would estimate. The road leads to the right with a small lane left and on into a residential street.

People coming and going in this multifaith society. Islamic and Hindus mainly, all smiling back as I make the first smile. They all make some acknowledgment of my presence - grandpas, grandmas smile, kids say hi and wave, and a burst of excitement as they see my camera, gathering for a photo. I suppose I'm a somewhat unusual sight in their neighbourhood - a western tourist definitly off the beaten track. A boy sitting on the roof of his house, head in a book. "Are you doing homework?", I ask him. "yes, it's Maths", he explains, smiling back. A grandma holding the baby, makes for a nice photo. She wants to show the photo around and beckons me into their house. A smart place, well laid out and constructed securely, upper middle class I should imagine. She seems to like the fact that I'm from England.

Grandma go's and makes tea while dad, mum and the baby pose for more photos. Tea and a tray of snacks are brought into the living room. A sticky, sweet pyrimad selected and devoured. "it's called konda keum", explains grandma. "made with fried rice and boiled honey". Thanking them for the tea it's time to move on, this time back down the lane and up the other side, glimpsing tea fields inbetween houses. Mountains loom in the distance as dark shadows, clouds skimming the tops. Dwellings around here are, in the main poorly constructed. Four walls and a corrugated tin roof laid across the top. Undoubtedly there is widespread poverty this being a rural town with really only one sustainable income - Tea. Despite being poor by western standards they all have plenty to give - a warm welcome and a nice big smile, and it's quite genuine.

Back down towards the bustling town, music blaring from shops trying to sell sound systems, busses hooting frequently and tuk tuks lining corner to corner. Plenty of cafe type restaurants around, spoilt for choice actually - better than Kandy already! Second meal in Hatton - some kind of vegetable curry with rice, tasty and only about 70p with a cup of Ceylon  tea.

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