Saturday, 16 February 2013

Mouse, Negombo 3rd February 2013

Mouse, Negombo..

One complete day left in Sri Lanka, and I'm going to spend it looking around Negombo town. It's not easy to spot a bus stand around here - any physical evidence of one is virtually non-existent. Some guesswork, some asking around and it's located about a five minute hike towards the town. 905 rolls up, full to bursting and beyond, but I can just about squeeze on. A short ride to the bus station via the Sunday market, where most get off.

First, something to eat. A couple of clean and spacious cafes close to the bus station here, flat breads or rice and curry - good enough. A wander around reveals another colourful, vibrant town, and fumes. It's not a big place and just a few minutes is the railway station, a smart well kept building, from the outside anyway. Just before that is the local cinema. Not exactly art decco, but interesting in that the place hasn't changed  since 1947! The old ticket office. Still with wooden bars, old concrete pillars defining the start of steps to the upper level, and it's all in pink.  The next film, in 30 minutes is called mouse, billed as a children's movie so should be pretty easy for a non local adult to figure out what's going on!.

Actually, it's turning out to be quite a delightful film, even has a few lines in English! In short, a boy from a slum invents a computer mouse that can be operated by foot. The trials and tribulations along the way make for a fascinating story and I can thoroughly recommend to any western viewer with a passion for non-violent movies. About 60p for the ticket and the movie lasts about 90 minutes with an interlude.

Back towards the market for a poke around there. A typical market for the locals. Grabbed a fresh coconut for 20p, a nice drink on a hot day. The fringes of the place, towards the beach are a little grim, infact the grimmest neighbourhood I've seen since Mumbai last year. Poverty stricken locals beckon me into thier abode, a polite decline as the stench of urine kicks in.  The beach is not exactly in a healthy state either - a dumping ground for garbage and seemingly a toilet ground for the locals.

A walk up the beach back towards the guest house reveals more impoverished locals, with their sizeable fish stocks laid out to dry amongst the trash. An insight into these fishing communities provides a decent set of photos with those little flat canoes and palms as backdrops.

Turning out to be quite a trek, negotiating rocky outcrops, but at least the breeze has a good cooling effect, taking the edge off that humidity. Oh, what's going on here! Hmm a local teenager, didn't quite bank on a tourist wandering around here by the looks of what he's doing. A beach scene I hadn't bargained for either!

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