Wishing wells, tsunamis and the stories in Sri Lanka…

Today I found a wishing well, and it wished me well, it wished me well…

I don’t know if that’s a song, is it? At any rate that’s what came into my head when I saw this wishing well in Fort Galle today, in Sri Lanka. It’s just like something out of a storybook, right? You can almost see it in an Enchanted Forest. It’s 300 years old and has fish in the bottom, who of course are cursed princes waiting for kisses… If only we could reach them. I like that story.

There are lots of stories here in Sri Lanka. My taxi driver (who’s also a mechanical engineer) told me this on the way here):

“The people here have always painted images from history on the walls of the temples, although we all love our stories more. We have a lot of stories. There was a story here that 1300 years ago a great tsunami covered the land after a monk was boiled to death in a pot by a king. His crime was falling in love with a princess… they’d planned to sail away on a boat. The tsunami was seen as the ocean fighting to take them away anyway, because the monk and princess were truly in love.

No one really believed it after a while; they thought it was just another story, you know, even though legend said the ocean hadn’t finished and would one day come back! After the Boxing Day tsunami the people got permission to paint a giant tsunami on the wall of a Kelania temple. They had to do it because now they know the story was real.”

“Aren’t they still afraid of the ocean?” I said.

“No. Most people have forgotten now. Like I said, we have a lot of stories.”