Archive for August, 2007

26
Aug
07

The Vacation

This is the accompanying text for the images posted earlier, also a short commentary on the whole thing. Brought to you by popular demand! ( =I just wanted to, so shut up and read it)

Anyway, I started on Friday, Got up, dressed, replied to all messages, got into the bus and went to the meeting place. Halfway there I remembered I’d left my cell phone charger back home. So, off the bus and back home. I eventually met up with my friend and we set off.

After an uneventful couple of hours we got to Kandy. Filled up gas(no, it actually WAS gas, LPG), and set off for Nuwara Eliya after stretching our legs. Now, Nuwara Eliya is a weird place. It’s a place where you actually get more cold when you walk fast, because that way the wind is blowing at you faster. You’d understand this phenomenon if you did your Relative Velocity at school.

While in Nuwara Eliya, we climbed a mountain(A real one, without any ready made paths, just trees, trees and more trees), shivered, and were chased away by ghosts(Well, the sign said “Abandoned : Dangerous. Keep Away”, so we assumed anyone else would keep away). All of which didn’t raise our body temperature by even a fraction of a degree. People here must be having a hell of a hard tie losing weight, since sweating certainly can’t be achieved unless you tie yourself to a horse and kick it in the noggin. We also went through a Children’s Home, I think, In our attempt to get down off the mountain. We had to jump over a couple of gates, but we made it, Albeit running into the caretakers. Tried to play the dumb tourist, but he kept asking how we had got there when the gates were all closed. How do you think? Gravitating? Sheesh…

Then, after two days of freezing, it was off to Bandarawela and climes more habitable. Here, we set off to conquer yet another mountain, but found that the grass which looked about two feet high from the Bungalow was, in fact an astounding 7 feet or longer. But deterred we were not! Just a little itchy by the end of it, when we found we had barked up a completely different tree, so to speak. We were on top of yet another hill, not our intended one, and faced with the prospect of going through all the murderous man-eating grass below us. So we did what any straight thinking individual would do. We stayed there. Eventually it started getting dark, so we had to come down of the thing and find a path back, which we did.

Next day, off to Yala. It’s Monday by now. As we absceil the slopes, I start feeling more and more uncomfortable. Sweat! Actual liquid off my skin! Whoa… Anyway, As the flora, and the fauna started looking more de-hydrated, we entered the [Whatever district Yala is in] District. Eventually got to Yala!
We got a jeep and started off. Drove for a few miles without anything in sight, except the usual dry bushes, which seem to fill in as the horizon round these parts. Finally we got to the check in. Or registration thing. There was a museum there too, full of skeletons of animals who’d got too friendly with the humans.

The most abundant quadruped in Yala seemed to be the Elephants. The most abundant biped being Humans. Peacocks, too were common. The highlight of the journey was, though the Leopard. This carefree predator just strolled across the trail and walked leisurely into the bush across. But I still couldn’t get any decent images of it thanks to the dinky little 3x zoom lens on the compact. And I had to use digital zoom(High tech image ruining software) to actually see it. I DID get it on film on the SLR too, but I still haven’t processed it yet. These Leopards seem a little too calm, probably the reason their nearing extinction… Probably strike a pose when the poachers get near…

Anyway, by the time we were leaving, we were all covered in dust from head to toe and thoroughly shook up by the Defenders’ movement. Then on to Kataragama to stay the night. When we got there, we cleaned up and went for a romp about town. So far so good, but little did we know there was no such “town”, to romp about. We just got to a place called “Round Kade” and went in towards the gazillions of shops selling fruits and things as offerings to the various deities. Also a lot of bangles and chains and things.

The next morning, I went over to the restaurant looking to eat a hearty meal in preparation for the long drive home. But it was not to be so. The powers that be had decreed that whoever stays in this place should eat good ol’ local/vegetarian food. Are not the worshipers pious enough to not eat the meat? And let the tourists have a regular meal, rather than eat grass? After the “meal”, we set off for the temples. Yes, it’s practically a mall full of places of worship. Look one way you see a mosque, the other way and you see a temple(Hindu or Buddhist). The architecture seemed a little, varied. At one point I saw a Snake doing something very questionable to a Swan, under it’s belly. Saw a guy crack a coconut after shaking his booty for a while, purportedly to make a wish come true…

All in all, It was quite eventful, even on the way back. Just too lazy to describe any more. So people, there you go!

24
Aug
07

Yala Ahoy!

I went to Yala. And some other places. Nuwara Eliya, Bandarawela and Kataragama to be precise. Can’t think of any interesting opening lines, so just check out the images.

WARNING : Amateur Photography ahead.

Trees in Yala, Also Shadows in Yala.

Leopard in Yala. Apperently they’re quite rare. Not too surprising seeing the way they pretend you don’t even exist when you drive by…

No points for guessing what’s hidden in the trees. Sunset in Yala. Self explanatory.
Nuwara Eliya -

One of the humongous Bulls I saw at the Ambewela Farm.Neck looked about 2 feet wide. And no sir, Ah suuure din not see any “Photography is Prohibited” sign.

Kataragama-

Some of the local apes in Kataragama. Sacred, none the less.

One of the less camera shy dieties in Kataragama. Most of the others were recluses, who’d ordered they’re priests to shoo away any tourists carrying cameras.

All in all, it was pretty interesting. Although it WAS a little strange going from extremely cold to extremely dry in a span of five days.
Random thoughts –
* People in Nuwara Eliya can easily spot outsiders by looking for people who are in summer clothes and are usually shivering.
* Horses bump up and down waaaayy too much.
* Everything is sacred in Kataragama. Even down to the hotel food, which was depressingly vegetarian. I was a little dissappointed. I was expecting throngs of people rushing around, and when I finally roamed around the city, I had a hard time finding what the actual “town” was. When I got there, it was more or less deserted other than for the millions of pavement hawkers trying to sell us plates of fruits and veggies.
07
Aug
07

The seven! Read this. Or else!

Azrael and Mia tagged me to write up seven random things about myself. Since reading seven regular things about a person can be like watching a plant grow, I’ll try and make it interesting.

1) I love – Reading. Anything and everything. As my first post says, even the label off my shirt. Sometimes even gets me dangerous looks when I try to read whats printed on some womens t-shirts, where the text just happens to be over a certain…organ(s). Favourites include Terry Pratchett, Tom Clancy, Andy McNab & Steven King etc.

2) Hate – Mac zealots. Scum of the earth in my book. God created this earth so man and his Windows/Linux PC could live happily ever after. Not so that some hippie could start a company that makes products for hillbillys. See no. 4) Stupid people.

3) Love – Games. Favourites include the GTA series and FPS’s like Half life, COD and FarCry. But unfortunately, due to my current video card, instead of a smooth display of scenery and trees in Crysis, I see something more like a slideshow of trees. Anyone want to donate 100$ in aid of the Buy-A-Videocard-for-The Jester fund?

4) Hate – Stupid people. Regular dumb people are fine, but I’m talking about dumbasses. Those “revolutionary” teenagers, with the Che t-shirts and stuff, who get a vacant look in their faces when asked who Guevara was. Also people who think they know what they’re talking about, but all they know can be inscribed on the head of a pin.

5) Love – Music. All sorts of music. Everything from Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture (a la “V for Vendetta”) to Shinedown’s Heroes. Mostly depends on my mood. Happy (Rock/Rap), Neutral (Classical/Hip hop), Angry/Worked Up (Rock/Classic “You will Cuuurse! the day you did not dooo, all that the PHANTOM asked of you!!!”) or just suicidal (“Hit me baby one more time!”).

6) Out of Love/Hate stuff. So here goes- I used to play rugger. Played the sport since 8th grade. Stopped in the 12th. Haven’t really much to show for it other than a plate and some certificates. A plate you ask? Yes, since some ancestor of ours probably thought it would be funny to give runners up in a tournament plates. What are we supposed to do with them? Play Frisbee? Mine sits on a shelf gathering various kinds of things that like brass.

7) Ahhh… The final fact – I hate all forms of messages and dull activities which exist thanks to the joblessness of some people and circulate around the net, in e-mail, blog comments and “Write seven things about yourself” requests… You people should be rounded up and nuked. I deliver a verdict of guilty on the charge of severe wastage of internet bandwidth, due to which my torrents are slowed down. ;-) :-D ;-)

Seven more people? Well, to be honest, I don’t know seven people to send it to who haven’t already been tagged. I’ll try and send it to someone else. Sorry if I’m breaking a centuries old tradition…

04
Aug
07

Social Networking : Gift or Curse?

We all know what they are, and we all probably have a profile at some site or the other. But do we really get any use out of these online hangouts?

It’s just that I’ve been getting these “[Idiot] Has Tagged You!” messages quite frequently, even after I told them I don’t want to be notified if some fool friend of mine thinks I’ll be interested in some site which has about as much potential as a dead rabbit to improve my quality of life. And to top it off, The e-mail says “Please reply or [Idiot] will think you are not friends”. Or something along the lines of that… Anyway, the point is, Who benefits from all this “networkedness”? What advantage do I get from having all the people I know in real life, who are just a phone call, or even better a text, away, On my friend list? So I can look at their profiles?

And the profiles. Oh! The profiles! Ye gods! Such a collection of pages with poor colour coordination and lack of attention to visitors’ eyesight I have nevereverneverever seen in my short but net exposed lifetime. You will not believe the sheer idiocy of people who get a blackish background, dark red text, garish yellow headings and then tell you to visit their profile. Because it looks “cool”, I’m told. Usually, they’re about as slick as a Hippo in a ballet costume. Or Mahinda singing “SexyBack”.

Okay, say the world was suddenly gifted with common sense and people improved their profiles. Make them more viewable. Great! Now I can find out all about the people I already know! How fantastically fantabulous! It’s like, like, ice cream on a stick! Or paperclips! … Other than all the teenage girls who pour over every detail of each other’s profiles(And some teenage “boys” who do so), I don’t really see any use in it.

Okay, some of you may argue that it’s something you can do when you’re bored online. Well, firstly, Social Networking will make you even more bored, and poses a potential health risk, due to the fact that updating your profile every other day will drive you insane, or render your reproductive organs useless(Trust me on that, I know people…. ;-) ).

Well, anyway, if we get past the treagic profile design and the moron updaters, What have we got on a social networking site? Well, I could think of one use – Stalker Heaven! Ohmygosh! Stalkers? Yes. Stalkers. You have pretty much everything you need to become a full time stalker in these sites don’t you? You just need a baseball cap and an IQ of about 15 (Which most compulsive updaters should easily fall into) to complete the requrements.

—————————- End of poinless rant——————————–

Anyway, I found something more interesting you can do with your time – anti social networking!
http://www.isolatr.com/ – Doesn’t work, still interesting though.
http://www.snubster.com/ – Works!

Apperently there are many more such sites.

P.S. – All you people who are going to say “But Jester, you yourslef are on Hi5 are’nt you? lol!”. Open mouth. Insert foot. Close mouth.

Yeah yeah it’s sort of like maddox‘s line, but whatever…






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