Monday, October 19, 2009

Loading the first container to France from Dilmah HQ in Colombo

Some circumstances cannot be planned...

Sri Lanka...first impressions

I will try to be as thorough as possible though internet connections here seems to be stuck to dial up speed and that shall not help me to wake up as it is so slow to get a page up !
I arrived early morning last friday the 16th at 7.10am, magnific weather, super hot and not humid for a change which pretty means the end of heavy sweating session like i was just getting used to in malaysia.
Back to a more normal life you might think ( i mean thought it too myself ) but soon to discover the state of the art transportation system !
Wow quite a shock, nothing can really put words on what i had the chance to grab in the first few hours here ! i heard stories from eric after he got back , from my parents also and i am still sure i did get the real expensive limo driving me with full ac from the airport !
arriving there, i just had to set up a few things and simcard which was easy to find since only one operator was working the airport and the change rates is the same all over the place.
You do get 166 roupies for one euro (which is not so bad knowing it was around 135 in march).
Here i am, holding my two backpacks, looking like a mule being offered really great chance to spend my roupies in a überexpensive taxi (2200 roupies is quite nothing back in euros but its my daily allowance budget).
My aim is to spend the three weeks in sri lanka with a mere 500 euros no more ! quite a challenge isnt it ?
Thanks to couchsurfing, i found myself a host living in colombo 7 and i am down to his place after a great touk touk ride from the airport....pollution, constent horns communication, smokes of all kind, dirts, dust you name it, i had it all ! the shower back to kunishke was leaving trace of a black colored ! finally a shower that has a purpose....
I am finally enjoying myself for a few hours, sleeping a little bit watching a movie before "business" duties are finally catching me back just a few expected hours before the original plan.
dad is quite happy to reach me on the phone and let me know the container is due to leave dilmah in a few days and has not yet been loaded..after a few phone calls, pickup is being arranged and here i am enjoying the first ride to dilmah hq on negombo road....
had the chance to see the factory but they were all cleaning and thus not producing anything.
Spent a few hours there before being sent home by the same locomation and meet my host for the first time and few of his buddies.
To cut the story short, i was supposed to stay at his place through monday but somehow he changed his mind during the night and asked me to leave as i was preparing my breakfast i am trying to see what went wrong, trying to sort out the situation as i am also packing up the mess and also getting my plan b luck, got it worked out few minutes before i left the house to go back to dilmah attend the loading of the first container !
I am currently uploading the pictures on my flickr so stay put !

Saturday ended well as i met my second host, ananda right outside his place just  a bit further on the suburbs of colombo...which is promissing more funnier moments in transportation.
We spent the whole afternoon in colombo exploring parts he never went too, from buses to touk touk, cant really remember how much time we changed directions but it was for the greater good as we reached the cinnamon grand hotel for a small gathering at the cheers pub with locals couchsurfing members.

Met the 10pm bus back to his place at the last second as the bus was leaving the depot and made it in no time back home for a good recovering session of due sleep.
Sunday was no different but ananda was working and he gave me instructions as things i could go see and i went on a day trip to negombo. by train this time for the inbound (40 roupies for 90 minutes worth) and ended following someone to a nice hostel in the region to enjoyed the beach, the cocktails and the parades of so many western people in their bikinis (some should have chose something else) when it was not their full body swim suit ...
negotiated my unlimited buffet for a few euros with the assistant food manager, got even his card (he offered me some discounted rate if i was to come back to the hostel...i wont but i played the game to save a few hundreds roupies).
I made the return by bus with the intercity number 4 (90 roupies) since i had no envy to wait in the heat for another 70 minutes for a slow train.
Connected with my host again around 6.20pm outside the shortcut leading to his parents' house.

All for now, feel good to have this out !

i am leaving colombo next wednesday to kandy and will certainly spent a few days around there to see whats available (mostly the elephant ) but a few other things before heading up north then to tamil country ! its supposed to be much safer now so i might just check that out and see something worth after such a time at war.

blue skies,