8 April 2008

Journal 4

8:30 begin collecting alms - finished (bowl full-and it's a big bowl) by 9:30. Sit down on a log in shade on a hill off road and inspect contents. Very different from Colombo alms. No rice at all. Everything is wrapped in newspaper, so there is not really as much - a lot of space between parcels: 8 packages of sugar (useless); 3 packages of tea (even more useless); 4 tiny cupcake type sweets; 3 wrapped pieces of candy; 2 unwrapped candies; 2 flat pastry things and 6 bananas. ABSURD! I discard sugar and tea; eat the rest—still hungry. Am brought tea by one of the people staring at me from the road Set out again; continue on alms. Much better this time: some rice cakes, 2 pieces of fantastically spicey and foul fish with sauce; 1 slice bread and about 1/8 pound butter to go with it; several indescribables. No sugar, tea. By now it is getting late; meals end at midday. I find a quiet shady place and begin eating when: leeches are everywhere! Depart hurriedly; don't sit down on damp, low ground. I'm becoming disheveled and my baggage is mixed up; discomfort; trying to find some place to eat; find a nice tree. Man comes and warns me against leeches; invites me to his home. I go and eat there, most comfortably, finish just after 11:00 and set out again.

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