With your red polo shirt, blue jeans and mysterious pink toenail, you hang halfway from the open backdoor in the reckless bus. You drag me in by my arm whilst the bus is only slightly moderating it’s speed. Music blasting, frantically honking, almost flying over the road.

Transportation in Sri Lanka is incredible value for money, or should I say you get a lot for your Rupees. A lot of people crammed in one bus. A row with two seats, one with three seats. The average European nowadays would need at least 2 of these seats. A lot of road time you will get as well. My 175 km journey will take me up to 6 hours to complete. This on such a bumpy road, it made me regret not wearing a sports bra.

With a soaring heat and sweat breaking humidity, I am bouncing through Sri Lanka. The smell of sweat mixed with fried snacks, side by side with a Sri Lankan who is continuously shouting in his phone. Black hair is showing from the seats in front of me. My cosy neighbor is exchanged after three hours by a lady who found a sweet spot against my hip and shoulder, and her arm slightly resting on my leg. All dimensions of my once very existing circle of personal space have shrunken to zero.

Meanwhile, with the warm wind blowing in my face I see a magnificent landscape pass by. Lush green fields of palmtrees and plantation, occasionally a small town. This is paradise. Although I do sense some form of restrained laughter when I get out of the bus. In my guesthouse I realize that sitting in front of an open window for six hours on the roads of Sri Lanka will leave its marks. Black and dirty marks.

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