Colombo, Sri Lanka

7pm December 4, 2004 Colombo, Sri Lanka

Disaster has been averted. Mum found the missing memory card. A big sad weight has been lifted from my shoulders!

I made plans to meet a Sri Lankan friend at Liberty Plaza in Colombo which she described as “dead”, in other words not the “happening” place for Colombo anymore. While waiting tat the designated Pizza Hut at the desired time, she messaged saying “Be there ASAP”. I found out later that we needed to make two more additions to Asian English.

“ASAP” — As soon as possible which may include navigating miles of heavy traffic.

“In 2 seconds…” – It’s close, if you consider 10 mins of traffic 2 seconds.

This is not a Sri Lankan phenomenon for sure as these two did come up while waiting for various things in Phuket and elsewhere.

Finally met this friend who is a journalist for a leading newspaper in Sri Lanka. She had been my Sri Lankan penpal since she read my article on arranged marriages on the net. It’s good to put a face to the emails. We quickly catch a Bajaj (a three wheeler) to Majestic City — the happening mall of Colombo.

MC is a big mall. No more, No less. I pick up the necessary shirts, trousers, books and CDs while waiting for my journalist friend’s friend Shaun to join us. Shaun works for a tech firm and they set about showing this wayward child of Lanka around the city.

It became apparent that this tour was certainly unique. It involved several malls … “Department Stores,” corrected my pen pal, IT exhibitions and bizarre conversations about blood drinking. I was beginning to wonder if I had joined some secret Sri Lankan cult of blood-drinking, mall-hopping geeks. Nevertheless they did not throw me out of the car for my dry sarcastic humour (which was a good thing as I had no idea which way was home). In all a good time with non-relatives for an afternoon in the city of my birth. Hopefully they (and more) will keep in touch with me on my return to Canada.


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