Flight to Colombo trough Abu Dhabi was rather smooth. Even though I must say that my expectations of Abu Dhabi airport were crashed. I really thought it is going to be this grand airport that will impress you forever. And no… did not happened. Airport as an airport. Nothing more nothing less. Even Colombo airport left more impression on me (for different reasons, but still :))
Oh yes – I could also compare two different airway client cultures. Itinerary Brussels-Abu Dabi was served by Etihad Airways. Good company, well dressed stewardesses but… they were just polite… Whilst my further route took me on Sri Lankan Airways and I immediately noticed that people like to smile. It is not just all about business for them… And these small things make all the difference in the world. Even if Sri Lankan Airways was more uncomfortable and crowded etc etc, in the end, the staff made up for it 🙂
Arrival in Sri Lanka 5 in the morning local time (1.30 Brussels time) is pain. Through both flights I have slept all together 4 hours and I know that there is a new day ahead of me. Getting through the immigration is rather easy but then afterwards I was truly amazed: as soon as you are past immigration, you have a feeling that you have entered electronics market. EVERYTHING was sold there. Flat screen TVs, washing machines, mobile phones. You name it, they got it… Seriously 🙂
Road to the Barberyn resort
After waiting for 40 minutes to get the luggage, I meet the guy that is bringing me to the resort. No, he was not wearing a turban and flower garland unfortunately. Still, he was nice. I quickly realise that all of them are going to call me Madame all the time. Well, fine, I think I can live with that… Not really a name that I associate myself with, but fine, in Sri Lanka I could be a madame 🙂
I think that the distance to the resort is approximately 100km. It took us 3h to get there. And not because roads were bad, no, no. Traffic was the cause. I had a feeling that I am back in Bangkok, were driving is on the opposite side of the road, where only old cars are used and where traffic jams start at 6 in the morning (which is when we entered the traffic). And it is not just your regular traffic jam. Here people are honking constantly (just to let you know that they are there) and the mix of old buses, cars, tuk-tuks, motorbikes, scooters and bicycles are amazing… I am almost sure that I would not be able to drive in this country 🙂
In the beginning I was trying to absorb everything around me – how easily they expose huge Buddha statues next to Jesus Christ, how school children are all dressed in the same uniforms and how different ladies are dressed on those smelly roads (from traditional Sri Lankan dress to modern high heels business lady look) but then I realise that this traffic jam is not going to bring any new sensations. Especially because the main thing you see constantly, is the poverty around you. And military man with guns (I still have to find out why that is happening).
So, I dozed off. When I opened my eyes we were already arriving in the resort. At the check in they give me fresh mango smoothie, greet me with flower and nod and smile all the time. I eat my breakfast almost on the beach and have squirrels running around me. I think I am going to enjoy my stay here 🙂
Meeting with the doctor is @11. She is a nice lady (also quite young) that smiles and nods. And asks questions. I will have special treatments, special food and a regime… Today? Today is a massage. I said no to the acupuncture… Even though a guy who is giving me appointment later on is trying to convince me that it is worth trying. “It doesn’t hurt, madame,” he says. I know that… I just don’t like needles going into my body. I’ve tried it once in Belgium and had a severe negative psychological reaction towards it. Maybe I should give up my old memories and try it out here… Maybe it is different here. After all… I am here to get better and grow on every level. Maybe a needle is something that will help 🙂
First treatment: 4 hand massage
At the agreed time I am greeted by a smiling girl, who takes me by the hand and brings to the massage room. She starts the massage with pouring some warm oil on my head and massaging it. Next step: shoulders. All those hours sitting in front of the computer have to be taken away… After another 10 minutes or so (I mean, who counts time when you are the one that is getting the massage) she tells me to lie down on the table (oh yes, first part was sitting on the chair. Weirdly – also in front of the mirror). And then it starts. 4 hands that work in symphony. Both professional, both doing their job with love.
I get pampered in different oils, I get stronger and weaker massage stages, I have to have some drops put in my eyes (that hurt like hell) and in the end all this ends by me drinking some liquid that definitely is not going to be my favourite drink.
OK, they don’t speak very good English here as you could have imagined. That only means that all these treatments are kind of adventure for me (even when the young doctor explained to me what is going to happen, half was left unclear.. not because she didn’t want to tell, obviously). The nice lady that started the massage, brings me to the herbal garden where I get some hot oil patches put on me and some facial mask + cucumbers on my eyes. Afterwards I get covered and let alone. Of course, at least three times I woke up because my mouth was half open and I feared I was about to start snoring in the middle of this silent garden.
This is a nice treatment as well. Not as nice as the massage, but every ritual has its meaning and purpose. So, I just accept it.
Third treatment: herbal bath
Other ladies are coming into scenario. They all take me by the hand (something that they tend to do here) and bring me to the next stage. I have to take a shower to get rid of the oils and take a herbal bath. What is that? Basically you lie down in the bath half full with herbal water and one of these nice smiling ladies takes the water from the bath and pours over you. Constantly. I have to look it up what this is. I am sure it is something cool.
As for the acupuncture… I chickened out.. Not today. No, I am not ready for those needles. Maybe tomorrow 🙂