Oh, Sri Lanka…

Sri Lankan military officials stand guard in front of the St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo

I’m sorry that this is supposed to be a book blog, but it has recently become a blog about so many other things.

However, I just CAN’T ignore the terror attacks in Sri Lanka today – Easter Sunday.

I’ve lost count of how many Sri Lankan stamps I have in my passports, but there are MANY. I used to stay there before and after every trip I made to India to visit my parents (they used to live there).

Sri Lankans are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Even when the civil war was still on, and there were sandbags and machine guns everywhere, and the airport staff raided your suitcases before they even let you into the building, they were always so nice about it.

I always tell this story, but one time I checked into a resort in Negombo (where over a hundred people were killed in the terror attacks), the elderly gardener saw me carrying a tiny bag up to my room, and came running to help.

I thought he’d want a tip, but by the time I’d got into my room, and turned around to tip him, he was long gone. He literally just wanted to help me. In the hotel world, this is not a normal experience…

Sri Lankans are just like this. Amazing people.

I am so upset about these attacks, and I’m so upset they won’t matter much according to the world’s news.

To China

In a spur-of-the-moment thing, I am now booked on a trip to China for November. It’s going to be a bit of a rush, as I’m not back from England until October and China requires a visa (which begins the moment it’s issued, so you cannot get it too early).

Chinese Embassy Australia Canberra

It’s a good thing I live in Canberra, where the absolutely massive Chinese embassy is (above).

I have some certain ethical issues about the trip that I’m grappling with… It’s hypocritical of me to say things about Russia, but not care about other world issues.

It will only be a short trip there and back, into Beijing and out of Qingdao.

Even though I lived and worked in nearby Korea, I have never been to China before – unless you count a thousand trips through Hong Kong International Airport!