Killing Time
in Colombo...
Wine bar in the sand.
Is there a better combo???
August 27, 2006

Because much of the turmoil surrounding Sri Lanka is based in the north, I had no problems with heading into Colombo for the
day (since I had such a long layover).

I was going to leave my carry-on bags in the ‘Left Luggage’ area but nobody was there. Because of this, I just hired a taxi
driver, Janaka, to be all mine for the day. I actually got a great deal as one taxi driver was going to charge me the same amount
just to drive me into Colombo and drive me out. This way I would get a little bit of a tour of the city…

The first thing I learned was that the majority of Sri Lanka is Buddhist. When driving down the roads, there were roundabouts
with big Buddha statues sitting in the islets in the middle. We visited a Buddhist temple that was as colorful as could be on the
inside. I have no idea what the different scenes were depicting…but it looked like there was quite the story being told. Outside
of the temple was a big elephant with the hugest tusks I had ever seen! There were many other things to see within this
complex - though it was a bit difficult as my bare feet were having a hard time on the blazing hot ground. I literally had to run
from shady spot to shady spot. Janaka probably labeled me a whimp…and rightfully so. A few minutes later I told him I was
ready to leave.

Janaka then drove me to the beach. While Sri Lanka is known for their beaches, Colombo definitely does not make the cut of
the beaches being referred to. It was just a large stretch with somewhat blue waters on one side and a short concrete wall on
the other. This was more of a local destination as many Sri Lankans were there with their friends or loved ones. Just about
every female had a colorful umbrella to protect them from the sun. That was probably the most scenic part about this area.

Since I was in Colombo on a Sunday, most of the stores were closed. Janaka wanted to take me to one store that was opened.
This place called itself a ‘department store’ but it was more like a small mall. Very Western-ized. Being a Western girl, I should
not be ashamed to admit that being at this place made me very, very happy. I needed some new clothes and earrings (as I had
lost the two pairs that I originally had) so I was looking forward to spending some Sri Lankan rupees. In addition to a clothing
store, they also had a ‘Lush’ shop, a wine bar, a French bakery, a fun paper/stationery store and a few nice jewelry stores.

Maybe I didn’t leave Colombo with the full ‘Sri Lankan’ experience - but that would have been impossible considering the
amount of time that I had there. My experience would instead leave me with a Sri Lankan skirt, tank top, two pairs of earrings
and a purse.

Oh yeah…and seeing the biggest-tusked elephant that I had ever seen.
Back to Sri Lanka.