When Colombo gets mad

Trip Start Sep 21, 2009
Trip End Apr 28, 2010

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Saturday, October 31, 2009

The weather was absolutely gorgeous this morning and it was humid at all. I decided to go for breakfast locally and found the little "patisserie" around the corner. I know a lot of girls who would have literally killed for one of their chocolate cakes!! They looked incredible but I did not have one as I felt like having something savoury!

I then, headed towards the city centre to go the district of Pettah. Pettah is basically a big market where you can buy everything and it was great walking around the place. As usual people are very friendly with you and you sometimes feel like you are a bit of an attraction!!!

At one point a guy came up to me as I was taking a picture and was being very and wanted to show me around. I actually need to find public toilet so I asked him where I could find some. It was becoming obvious he was going to ask me for money at the end but I wanted to wait and see what would do. He took me there and actually paid for it - then to me to a few decent spot to take some pictures. I took a picture of the Harbour and after told me I actually was not allowed because of terrorism so I should be careful - I was like "thanks mate you should have said that before". I then told him thanks for taking 5mins to show me a few things and as expected he wanted money. We had to go and get change and I gave him 20 Rupees. He did not seem happy with that - well tough I did not ask him for anything after all!!! Apart from public toilet :-).

I stopped for food at one of the restaurant and I had way too much for lunch!! Everyone eats with their hands here, I had actually forgotten about that. I then went to the Fort Area. On the way, I kind of flipped at a couple of Tuctuc drivers (bike taxis). Basically, every 20 yards one of them comes up to you asking where you're going or if you need them. I know they are only trying to earn money and do their job but sometimes it is really annoying. You are constantly approached by strangers - it's like being a celebrity I guess!!!

I ended up in this Temple where everyone was looking completely alienated walking around the place praying. It was absolutely surreal; it was like they could not see me as I clearly did not belong here. Some of people praying seemed to be in so much suffering as if they were imploring the Gods to help them. It was quite an experience!

Obviously, you have to take you flip flops off on the premises so when I went to get them back the guy wanted me to pay him when he’d told me it was free. Anyway, he said it was 10 Rupees so it was fine but when he saw 100 Rupees in my wallet he was like it’s 100!!! You can imagine what I told him :-)

I made my way back to the bus station and the sky was getting quite clouded. When I go into the bus the sky was looking threatening and as soon as we set off, it started pouring down with lighting and thunder - it was quite impressive. I have seen worse in Europe but I can understand how it can get flooded very quickly.

Luckily enough it calmed down when near the hotel but, when I got off, I still had to wait for a bit before running down the street and make it back. I even found the time to eat a whole chocolate :-)

I am basically now stuck in the hotel but thank God I have wifi in the room!!!

One thing that really shocked me here is the security. There are security checkpoints at every street corner, police and military are everywhere. It does not feel unsafe or like a war zone for that matter it is incredible the amount of security there is. You have to remember that Sri Lanka is still suffering from the civil war in the North East of the country. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (the LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers, a separatist militant organization) are fighting against the government to create an independent Tamil state named Tamil Eelam in the north and the east of the island. The Tamil Tigers were eventually defeated in last May. Here is a bit of history for you!
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