A Sri Lankan bus party
Updated: Jan 1
The best introduction to the Asian subcontinent has to be an intoxicating ride on a local bus.
You are immediately invited to a riotous party of colours, fragrant scents, dance music and, if you're lucky, new friends.
So, on my first day in the country, I find myself squeezed into a corner of the fun bus with 5 other party-goers, one of whom is standing on my sandalled feet as the dance floor is already full.
The bus driver was enjoying the festivities immensely, with an 'I love Tweety' beach balloon swinging above his head, a pink doll on his lap and an old Nokia glued to his ear.
He had a great fondness for the horn and a greater love for running scooters off the road.
Thankfully, we had Lord Ganesha to protect us. The driver realised it's probably best to hedge your godly bets in Sri Lankan traffic so several Buddhas also enjoyed the incense with the revered Elephant god while Jesus hung from a string nearby.
5 rosaries were stuck to the windows below the pantheon of Trimurti and their honourable friends.
The skinny, flip-flopped leg of the ticket boy anchored him to the turbulent bus as he waved furiously out of the open door, touting for customers.
And just like a rave that's gone on too long, the passengers on board flung themselves out of the door when it was time to leave.
And all this entertainment from Negombo to Colombo can be yours for just 400 rupees (£1.60). All aboard!