Category Archives: Sri Lanka

Male´: Water taxi in, seaplane out

I really like the reorientation that comes as a necessity upon arrival to another country. It can be particularly acute when you’re either unprepared, or hopping through a few  different countries, or both. There are those inevitable questions, like:

What the heck is this scribbly manuscript everywhere that vaguely approximates written communication?
Oh, what language do they speak here again?
What time is it again? Wait, only a half hour time change??? That doesn’t even make sense!
What is the money called here? What’s the exchange rate?

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Traveling 3rd class… Sleeping 1st class.

“Flashpacking” is a loosely defined, upmarket variant of backpacking. We are more than happy to take on that moniker for a lot of our approach to travel. With flashpacking, you can have really extreme variation in the budget for different aspects of your travel. The driving considerations are just fun, comfort, and safety. One area that we’re seeing the contrast in budget quite a bit is in going really, really cheap with our overland travel and staying in pretty nice 4-5 star places. The dichotomy can be pretty entertaining…

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Recreating the British colonial experience

“Mike, you do realize this is the most ‘white devil’ stop we’ve ever had on vacation, right?”

Watching a throng of British tourists being waited on by servile Sri Lankans in traditional attire…. Yes, the thought had occurred to me. To be clear, we’re sort of co-opting the “white devil” term to refer to remnants of the more distasteful aspects of western colonialism (E.g. this attitude). However, the term has some more interesting etymology that is largely unrelated to colonialism (E.g. here and here).

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The “missed” flight

Anyone who has taken more than a few flights may know the feeling of nearly missing a flight. Or, even worse, missing a connection. Or, even much worse, missing an international connection. But those feelings pale in comparison to missing an international connection in the middle of a multistop trip, potentially subverting prebooked lodging, ground transportation, and limited availability tickets. Even in the best of circumstances, these scenarios can be a roller coaster of hope and despair.

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