As I lay down on my bed, closing my eyes and trying to sleep to recover from the jet lag. But something is wrong, and my brain would not want to sleep. The silence. Something I have not heard for 2 weeks. In Sri Lanka, my ear was constantly stimulated. And maybe for the first time, I listen to the silence. Behind the double glazing, I get wrapped by this deep, heavy silence and I almost got scarred.
In Sri Lanka, no glass to break the sounds of life coming through the windows. And soon the hurly-burly of life, noise of the traffic with the tuk-tuk ‘s klaxons, kids playing around or murmur of the wind in the palm trees becomes a constituent of the “being there”.
As I crawl under the blankets to escape the chill of early May, I try to reckon the sensation of the pearls of sweat running along my back while hiking the Sigiria fortress and the oppression of the sun that will get you dizzy at the warmest hours. Far away.
I am staring at the ceiling, white, and the walls, white. The main colour of swedish design, contrasting highly with the darkness of the long winter coats that locals are wearing. The all city is grey. I close my eyes and try to recall the white uniforms of the kids going to school and the myriad of flashy tints of the sarongs.
I miss the smell of Ceylan, this strange mix of spices, incense and tea, that would catch you while riding the local bus, walking along the road, passing by houses. I open up one of the little bags we brought with us and suddenly the all room seem to be filled of curry, and this brown spice almost transports me back.
In the fried pan, the curry colours the garlic, the chicken and the vegetables. As I bring the spoon to my lips, I close my eyes and get ready for the verdict. Strong taste that runs until my nostrils. I wait, uncertain. “It’s not exactly like over there, is it?” No, but close enough to crack a smile as we take place around the kitchen table.
Welcome home, we are back.
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