In some places mountain scenery is stunted bushes and scree, and what houses exist are, like their occupants, precariously attached to life. Not here.
Today I walk up to Shantipura, the highest village in Sri Lanka, sitting on “One Tree Mountain”, named by a monk with an overly literal sense of the oneness of all things.
I walk past a white stupa under a pure blue sky. Amid a mass of green, people are digging, planting, watering vegetable plots.
As I walk around the top I feel Sri Lankans don’t just smile, they laugh hello. Since the end of socialism and civil war, people here grow stuff and laugh. So different from Armenians, who, unable to see their way out from under the oligarchs, are often grim and gray.
I get hungry but not much cooked food here. I buy some sugary bread from this woman, who has a nice shop and seems content enough with her shop and with life.
I liked the look of this old woman, sitting Buddha-like on the step. She smiled at me so I took her picture. Later I realized she really was from the old Sri Lanka, and must have been smiling because she heard rather than saw me. When I examined the full resolution picture, I realized she was blind.
Again so different to Armenia, and its quiet gray of scarcity. It is only now that I realize what it was that struck me most about Armenia – the lack of color. And once again I realize you only really understand what you saw when you no longer see it.