Things I saw from the train to Nuwara-Eliya

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  • Two boys playing badminton over a tractor tyre, in a gorge.
  • Woman thwacking wet clothes against a rock in the river.
  • Lots of enormous, filthy, gurning cows, looking like the entire stock of a leather merchant’s. All rippling, glistening swathes of skin, caked in mud and straw.
  • A monkey in a ravine with a stick.
  • Crumpled jackfruits hanging from the trees like psychedelic wasps nests.
  • Monk’s temple with 50 painted concrete monk statues in orange robes processing in a queue along the outside wall.
  • Clean clothes drying in the sun laid out on rocks around the base of a waterfall, looking like a melted crime scene.
  • 40 matching pink and purple striped sarongs fluttering on a washing line.
  • Very insistent blind woman asking to be led onto our train by a hesitant, responsibility-shy passer-by, only for it to leave the platform without her.
  • An enormous palindromic fallen tree trunk lying across a gorge. Branches looking identical to its roots.
  • 2 cows with 2 ducks (one each) at opposite ends of a paddock, as if they were gangs enacting farmyard West Side Story.
  • Man standing on top of a hedge wearing a polo neck.
  • An amazing plant covered in silky rhubarb and custard upside down trumpets, or, what could otherwise be hundreds of tiny ballet costumes hanging from its branches. (Update from imaginatively named plants dept: I have since learned this is called Angel Trumpet flower)
  • Orange chair on a green tin roof
  • Man standing on a petrol tanker, hand on hip, looking sassy.
  • 3 blokes sitting in pole positions, on the top of a set of stone steps, at the top of a huge hill, waving at us.
  • Dog eating scrambled eggs out of a tin foil platter on a doorstep
  • Patchwork tin roof made of a panoply of sheets of metal all in varying shades of mud and rust – looking like an ikat bedspread
  • Two pairs of trousers drying side by side on a hedge
  • Small boy washing a small dog in a small brook
  • Barriers running alongside between train track and neighbouring village made out of saris