I took a $3, 7-hour train ride through Sri Lanka’s hill country — and it was unlike any travel experience I’ve ever had

Sri Lanka train from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya

The train journey between Kandy and Ella through Sri Lanka’s central highlands is well-documented.

You may recognise the scene above — a train crossing over Nine Arches Bridge near Ella — from innumerable sepia-toned travel blogs with the word “nomad” clumsily shoe-horned into the title.

A quick search of the route on YouTube will yield dozens of tanned influencers who have documented their journey hanging out of the doors over verdant tea terraces.

Despite all the puffery, though, nothing could have prepared us for what the journey was actually like.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel on a number of extraordinary train journeys, from bullet trains through southern China to the Venice Simplon Orient Express through the British countryside. The 8:47 from Kandy to Ella topped them all, though — and it only cost me $3.

Scroll down to see exactly what it’s like to make the seven-hour journey, from start to finish.

SEE ALSO: 12 things I wish I’d known before going on safari in Sri Lanka, which I’m convinced is going to be Asia’s next tourist hotspot

We arrived at Kandy station, which is in the heart of Sri Lanka, bright and early. We wanted to catch the 8:47 train to Ella, in the island’s famous hill country. To get our tickets, though, we would have to be fast. Second-class tickets are only available on the day and sell out rapidly. Third-class tickets are also available but we didn’t fancy standing in a cramped carriage with other travellers for seven hours straight.

Why didn’t we opt for first class? Well, for starters, tickets sell out months in advance, and you have to book via a travel agency, and nobody has time to be that organised. Secondly, while there is luxurious AC, you can’t open the windows in first-class — meaning you’ll never get the …read more

Source:: Business Insider


The market is at extreme risk of a ‘flash crash’ — here’s what could send it over the edge and trigger the next big meltdown

trader chart

Markets are going through an extremely turbulent patch right now as stocks, bonds, currencies, and commodities all face increasing volatility.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch explains how these conditions are ripe for a “flash crash,” and outlines what final steps must occur for the market to be plunged into widespread chaos.

There’s no denying it’s a turbulent time in markets.

Stocks suffered through an epically bad October, and came under renewed stress this past week. Debt markets faced serious pressure as the bonds for market stalwart General Electric tumbled to record lows. And oil is fresh off a 12-day skid — its longest of all time.

Turbulence has also rocked currency markets. The British pound-US dollar pairing has been particularly unstable in recent days as rate-hike guidance from the Federal Reserve and speculation around a Brexit collapse have whipsawed rates.

This rising cross-asset volatility is one of a handful of elements creating a highly vulnerable situation in markets — one that could result in a so-called flash crash, according to strategists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

BAML is also worried about what it describes as “vicious deleveraging,” which is when a company attempts to reduce its debt burden by quickly selling assets. This is a particularly pressing issue in China right now. And the US faces its own reckoning of sorts as the Fed hikes rates, which raises lending costs and makes refinancing more difficult.

There’s also what BAML refers to as “dislocation risk,” which can be highlighted by “abnormal spreads.” The example the firm provides is the spread between Libor and Euribor — both of which represent the rates at which European banks lend to one another.

As the chart below shows, the relationship between …read more

Source:: Business Insider


Word Game: Nov. 18, 2018

TODAY’S WORD — BRAGGADOCIO (BRAGGADOCIO: brag-uh-DOH-see-oh: Empty or pretentious bragging.)

Average mark 37 words

Time limit 60 minutes

Can you find 55 or more words in BRAGGADOCIO? TODAY’S WORD — BRAGGADOCIO bard bird boar board boor boric brad brag braid brig brio broad brood rabid radio ragbag raid road rood aboard abroad acid acrid agar agog airbag aria arid aroid gaga garb gird goad good grab grid grog door drab drag drib odor orca carb card cargo cigar cobra coda coir cord corgi crab crag crib

To purchase the Word Game book, visit WordGameBooks.com. Order it now for just $5 while supplies last!


1. Words must be of four or more letters.

2. Words that acquire four letters by the addition of “s,” such as “bats” or “dies,” are not allowed.

3. Additional words made by adding a “d” or an “s” may not be used. For example, if “bake” is used, “baked” or “bakes” are not allowed, but “bake” and “baking” are admissible.

4. Proper nouns, slang words, or vulgar or sexually explicit words are not allowed.

Contact Word Game creator Kathleen Saxe at kzsaxe@gmail.com.

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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