serendipity

When I was in college, all I could think of when hearing the name Sri Lanka was the place where Ravana took Sita after abducting her away from Rama and Lakshman. In my professor’s version of Ramayana, Ravana took a big leap from India to get to Lanka. In other versions, Ravana shoved Sita inside his Pushpaka vimana, man-handled a giant peacock, and used it to fly back to his kingdom. What is regarded as a discovery of something which was not sought but was nevertheless found is perhaps what makes Sri Lanka one of the most romantic places to be in. It was, after all, known as Serendib. To roughly translate it, it is the country of “happy accidents.”

Converging at Good Shed in the heart of Kandy, this bus terminal is more maddening than Cubao during the Holy Week. Ron and I almost lost each other trying to find a CTD bus that will take us directly to Sigiriya. After talking to several people, we saw a bus that looked like the Manila Love Bus (you know you are a 70’s or an 80’s baby) except that it’s red. The amount of tetanus threat of the buses were just the same.

We only realized that it was not a Love Bus but Harry Potter’s Knight Bus. Our driver was as manic as Ernie minus the rasta heads bobbing about.  After paying Rs 45, I started to get comfortable and did not feel the three hour ride pass by. Because I am so used to riding Don Mariano buses that kill people, I have lived through swerving and overtaking, take note, at a blind curve. I looked at the approaching vehicles and laughed.

After the sweltering ride, we were dropped off at the Sigiriya Hotel junction. A few meters ahead is our home for the night, Hotel Sigiriya. To think that we were already crawling under our skins because of staying in Theva, Ron and I still decided to continue treating ourselves to relaxation and once again ditched the idea of booking cheap hotels. The main drag of the hotel is the magnificent sight of the Lion’s Rock rising on top of the luscious forest that stretches for miles. This is especially wonderful to look at with my Lion Lager in hand, and Ron doing an ANTM pool disappearing act. It was peaceful and quiet, except for the aggressive monkeys running and swinging everywhere. They could’ve been Hanuman’s army…

The rooms were nothing short of what we expected. It was spacious with a door that leads to the garden. We were not really able to enjoy this particular amenity as the crazy monkeys and monitor lizards can attack us anytime.

As the sun sets over Sigiriya, no accident had happened to us, which is very unusual because we are magnets for things that are surreal… like that Dranreb Belleza incident in Kandy. We couldv’e been in a bus accident. We could’ve died of tetanus. We could’ve been eaten by monkeys. Instead we got drunk and had a good night sleep. Perhaps that was the peace we never sought to discover but, nonetheless, found.