Here are some further crimps in the vacation plan.
- There are food shortages. Many stores are closed due to no supplies. Stalls normally set up to sell packets simply aren’t there. Finding packets on the street is difficult.
- Water is in short supply. Contamination of wells with salt water. Water sold in the stores have experienced about a 20% increase in price.
- Hotel rooms are full. Mainly with travellers waiting to evacuate the country, but also probably with others who are homeless but can afford a hotel room. The latter will be in the minority.
- Vans are in short supply because they’re being used to transport people & supplies around the country.
- Distribution of goods around the country is a major problem right now.
- Petrol is in severely short supply.
- Some bridges are out and some rail lines are destroyed. This applies to coastal areas only, though.
- We may be looked upon as gawkers and things could get hostile for us. People in this country tend to be very passionate and can turn ugly and violent very quickly.
Yala is closed. The tsunami went 2 km into the park.
Things may be different in the middle of the country, but who knows? We can’t predict at this point. And that’s the biggest problem.
As things unfold, and Fahim and I discuss things, we don’t think it’s a good idea to be tourist here right now. Three or four months from now will likely be a lot better, but given that this has just happened, the country is in too much of a state of emergency. No one knows what’s going on where, there’s no or little communication, and the whole country’s a mess.
I read your email and I understand you supporting tourism as a way to support the local economy. I agree with it. Just not now.
I wish I had something better to tell you. The other thing is that, assuming you do go ahead with it, I will likely not go. I doubt I’ll feel up to it emotionally, to be honest, and I have severe doubts about anything going smoothly right now, as does Fahim.