Back to Civilisation and Drugged to the Eyeballs

14 December 2014

It’s the little things, like an ensuite bathroom, room service (that is no reflection on Sanjeev, our houseboy at The Kandy House) and the absence of rats freefalling from the ceiling that makes you appreciate life’s “creature” comforts.

Brings you back to nature when you realise the comforts being provided are for the “creatures”, not me. 

At The Kandy House, my nightly routine was making sure all food stuffs were sealed in the fridge or a locked box (for my Canadian friends, it’s kind of like a bear box, but for the less-vicious-but-just-as-curious resident rats and ants) and my daily morning routine at was to sweep up the dead bugs and gecko poo. 

It wasn’t all bad though; the view was amazing and the master bedroom had a beautiful four poster bed with views down to the valley below. Sadly, that wasn’t my room. My room contained two children’s beds with garish Candy Pink and Powder Blue mosquito nets. They contrasted so nicely with the canary yellow walls.


It’s not everyone who can team pastel pink, yellow, blue, forest green and mission brown. Nor should they!

Sorry, my inner “interior decorator” is having a bitch-fest. 

Now I’m in a brand new hotel in Colombo. A red heaven. I suspect the hotel has been designed to cater for a Chinese clientele. Everything is red; it’s like a brothel with room service. Not that sort of room service, although my room does get a daily service and I do leave money on the bed. (I swear it’s a tip for the house boy. Okay, that’s still not helping my cause, is it…?)


Best thing after The Kandy House is no rats, and (as yet), no cockroaches. I even suspect the monkeys won’t be swinging by the infinity pool on the 26th floor. 


To follow in the tradition of our latest four trips away, I’ve spent a frustrating day at the local hospital. Why is it that I seem to spend at least one day of my holiday negotiating the various idiosyncrasies of my host country’s healthcare system? Am I getting old ? (That was a rhetorical question, so no comments on WordPress, thank you.)

Blindly, I was shunted from waiting room to specialist with no apparent coherent system in operation. 

Don’t worry – no operation was necessary; just water in my inner ear, not ideal before a 24 hour flight to Canada. 

So as my ENT specialist used a high-powered vacuum the size of skewer in my ear, he asked me if I was enjoying my holiday in Sri Lanka. 

While I winced from the pain of my eardrum being sucked into a tube the diameter of a darning needle, Dr Wickarama wondered why I was gripping his surgical table with white knuckles, and why I wasn’t responding to his friendly questions:

Well, Dr Wickarama…

  • A: My ear drum is flexible, but not that flexible.
  • B: How am I supposed to hear your inane bonhomie when my ear is filled with an industrial size vacuum that would be more at place in my home then in a specialist theatre.

Weird I know, but I had to see what was sucked out. No brain matter was evident (no surprise there) nor any bugs. That cockroach story is definitely an urban myth.

So now I’m armed with enough drugs to stop an Ebola outbreak. And not to be taken with alcohol. 

As if! 

How am I supposed to wash down that many pills? I mean, really, I’m being dosed up with that many drugs, what’s one more into the mix?

I know it’s not responsible; I’m just kidding. (Well, kind of…)

Just don’t tell Dr Wickarama.

About Freoroamers

Richard has worked in hospitality and travel for almost three decades and has been a regular traveller since childhood. He now travels for both work and pleasure, and is a Senior Contributor to Trip Advisor and other digital media travel platforms.
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