The crush at the Temple of the Relic of the Tooth, Kandy
I read a
travel decorating piece a few years ago that gave tips on how to make your
arduous journey more comfortable. One suggestion for the deco-minded was to buy
oneself flowers for the hotel room – just like home.
Our guesthouse tonight is far less salubrious than the one the magazine had in mind, but we’ve
done the same trick.
It’s easy
when the hotel faces the flower stands that make the beautiful floral tributes
offered to Buddha in the nearby revered Temple of the Relic of the Tooth, which
houses on of Buddha’s teeth – though you’ll never see it. It’s housed in a
golden casket, and like Ho Chi Minh’s corpse, you’re ushered past at a
seemingly irreverent pace – we glimpsed the casket for all of a second, after a
good half hour’s solid pushing and nudging.  
Cardboard
trays of jasmine flowers and Sri Lanka’s beautiful national flower, a blue
water lily, are constantly sprinkled with water to preserve their beauty for
hard-shopping pilgrims – 100 rupees, about 70c, will get you a huge handful of
the most exquisitely fragrant jasmine flowers.