Cassie: A British Tuk Tuk Kella on a tour of Lanka


I met Cassie Trevis through Instagram after I posted a photo of a miniature trishaw given to me by my friend Mahishini Colonne, the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson. Cassie calls herself the Tuk Tuk Kella because of her fascination with the Tuk Tuks of Sri Lanka. She is also promoting Sri Lanka and she wants to work and live here and realise her Tuk Tuk dream. Later, we met for coffee and then she came on Sirasa TV, Pethikada hosted by me. This is her story for now. I say ‘now’ because her story will continue.

Cassie came to Sri Lanka first as a tourist to Unawatuna, where she was introduced to Tuk Tuks. One night she travelled on the roof of a trishaw and came crashing down. She fell on the rear seat. She loved that fall with which she fell in love with the Tuk Tuks even more! She returned to England wanting to come back to Sri Lanka to realise her Tuk Tuk dream.

Cassie found a job at a garment factory in Hanwella. She travelled from Kotte daily to Hanwella by a Tuk Tuk against the wishes of her bosses who had asked her to travel by car.

She had her Tuk Tuk dreams and decided to go ahead with her plans. First, she learned to drive a Tuk Tuk and obtained the trishaw licence. (She loves to flaunt it!) Then she purchased her dream Tuk Tuk, a cool black one and modified it. She shows the owners registration certificates very happily. She smiles and says, " I even got it air conditioned. I fixed two fans!" She also had a brand new stereo set installed.

She has got a nice song collection. They are all Sinhala Tuk Tuk songs. Even when you call Cassie on her mobile phone that is what you hear––Cassie’s Sinhala Tuk Tuk Sindu.

Can the British Tuk Tuk Kella sing Sinhala songs? Of course, She can! Ask her to sing for you if you meet her driving her trishaw. She also has a famous line on her Tuk Tuk; translated into English it means she loves her trishaw more than her boy friend!

I asked Cassie if she wants to marry a Sri Lankan kolla. She says, "Epa (no)! But, I might consider a man with the smartest Tuk Tuk." There you go! Cassie will consider you only if you own a nice Tuk Tuk. Bad news for Hooray Henries with posh cars! Cassie is down to earth. She loves the Sri Lankan smile and grounded Sri Lankans. She says she loves to move with the ordinary folks and they relate to her well too.

When I asked what her parents and her friends thought of her fascination with Tuk Tuk she said first they thought she was a Pissu Kella (mad girl) but, having traveled with her in her brand new Tuk Tuk they are fully supportive of her Tuk Tuk dreams now. Her parents were in Sri Lanka recently and enjoyed the rides on their daughter’s Tuk Tuk. Everyone has realised Cassie is no pushover and she definitely is not a Pissu Kella.

Cassie left her job at the garment factory, went back to England on a short break and is back in Sri Lanka to realise her dream of a Tuk Tuk ride through the country. She has selected an important day for all Sri Lankans, Feb. 4, the Independence Day to embark on her journey.

Her tour is scheduled to end on Feb. 28. Cassie will be joined by a friend of hers from England. She will commence her tour from Katunayake after picking her friend from the airport. Cassie will tour from Negambo to Chilaw, Kalpitya, Wilpattu, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Udawalawe, Mirissa, Unawatuna (where she had her first experience with Tuk Tuks) , Hikkaduwa, Bentota and end the journey in Colombo. Cassie said she had planned the tour because she wanted to experience again and again the beauty and joy of Sri Lanka and tell the world that Sri Lanka was not only a beautiful island but a peaceful place.

I asked Cassie what she wanted to do after the tour. She said, "I want to find a job and live in Sri Lanka after the tour of the country. My dream is to open a one stop Tuk Tuk shop and help the Tuk Tuk community of Sri Lanka during my spare time."

Sri Lanka, have you got any offers for the Tuk Tuk Kella?

Look out for the Tuk Tuk Kella and cheer her during her forthcoming tour. She is sure to flash her Sri Lankan smile, sing a local song with a British accent and tell you, "Mama Thama Tuk Tuk Kella" ( I am the Tuk Tuk Kella.)

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