For the sake of backpedaling on my previous entry… Although Sri Lanka appears to me as a beautifully harmonious nation where multiple religions co-exist, I don’t mean to paint an ignorant or too simplified picture here. Sri Lanka has had it’s share of ethnic/religious tensions and recently too. They wear these scars, the same as anyone else, but it’s not the first thing you see or feel here. As a man I met in a train station reminded me the other day, “These are times of peace”.
Some additional food for thought: I remember (vaguely) from a first year Psychology class, learning how important it is for us as humans to organize and categorize our experiences. I always thought of this like a great internal cupboard with multiple drawers: when something new happens, you thumb through your catalog and place it appropriately. Occasionally there is no where for it to go so you don your carpenter hat and go to work creating a new drawer to house your new experience. This is why people will resist changing some things that causes them to rearrange their drawers too drastically or in extreme cases, destroy their life long, lovingly constructed set of internal drawers (even when there is overwhelming evidence that contradicts something they have thought or believe in). When you’ve based everything on something that people are telling you is false…well that’s a lot to handle. I realized (retroactively) that my toilets/trains theory falls directly into the palm of this idea. I’ve created these drawers, one labeled toilets and the other trains, and systematically slipped countries inside of them as a way of filing away the information and experiences that take place while traveling. And then to further justify it, I’ve decided to share my *profound* thoughts via blog. Yikes.