I fear that over the next couple of weeks, my blog posts will be rather random. As in, they will be on random subjects, posted at random times and at random frequencies.
Today I’m writing from Colombo in Sri Lanka. We arrived today at 8:30 am local time, but our bodies were on London time, so they thought it was 4am.
View from Hotel: Miniature mode on new toy.
None of the adults got any sleep to speak of during the 7hr flight to Dubai or the 4.5 hours second leg; the two younger kids got a little. They also woke up at regular intervals to howl about how tired they were and set off all the surrounding children in the process.
We flew with Emirates for the first time and they were excellent. The food was good, the entertainment offered by the seat back touch-screens was more than adequate, and the cabin crew were extremely helpful, especially with the kids. We flew out in a new Air Bus A380 and I found the seat size and pitch perfectly adequate for my ‘ample frame’. It did help that I had DS next to me I think.
My ‘spare clothes in the carry on’ rule was vindicated as we had two cartons of orange juice explode when children opened them unsupervised, and when DD3 emptied a full glass of water over herself and DH about 20 mins later.
Oh, and DH forgot to remove the keys from his pocket while going through security in Heathrow, so now has first hand experience of what it’s like to be on the wrong end of a full-body scan.
I also managed to find the camera I was looking for at Heathrow, so bought it. This means I’ll have to take twice as many photos as I would have before just to test it out.
But, back to Colombo.
What’s it like? When we landed, it was obvious we were somewhere different, there are palm trees everywhere, it’s very muggy and there is red dirt everywhere.
We are staying tonight in a hotel about an hour south of the airport, about 60 miles away from the villa we will be moving to tomorrow. This journey will take us 3-4 hours; the roads are okay but very busy and the driving is chaotic to say the least.
The journey from the airport was mental. Everyone cuts in, beeping madly as they overtake and undertake all over the place. The guy who drove us today seemed to have absolutely no concept of a safe following distances and how he missed ploughing into at least 3 other vehicles, I have no idea. This is all completely normal on Sri Lankan roads, no one stops for pedestrians, and red lights are apparently optional.
There is lots to see; tuktuks, people on scooters and motorbikes who must have a death wish, Buddhas and other temples including many Catholic icons, carts drawn by bullocks and what look like rotary hoes, stray dogs, policemen with guns, slums and school kids dressed in impossibly white uniforms. Everything is so different, it’s obvious we are no longer in Europe, let alone the UK.
Unfortunately, the kids missed most of the drive as they fell asleep and remained that way through the entire journey. I dozed off a few times myself, but I suspect it was some sort of defense mechanism for when I just couldn’t cope with the the stress of what was happening on the road around us. I certainly didn’t feel rested at the end of it.
The rest of the day has gone in a blur of showering, changing clothes and people falling asleep left, right and centre.
Falling asleep left and right.
We did manage another car outing this afternoon to Galle Face Green, a popular place for local people to go for a walk beside the sea-side. We used a couple of hotel drivers and they were a vast improvement from the van bloke from the airport. It was only a short drive and the kids enjoyed the sights and we all felt better after stretching our legs in the sea breeze.
On the sea wall, at Galle Face Green.
The kids are obviously a bit of a novelty; DD3 and DS1 especially, get lots of smiles and head patting. But at one point we headed out onto a pier and DD1 and 2 were suddenly surrounded by about 100 curious girls, their own age, all in those white uniforms, crowding around and shouting ‘ hello, hello’. DD2, rarely at a loss for words, was suddenly overcome with shyness and couldn’t bring herself to reply to her new friends.
And then we had a lovely swim in the hotel pool to finish the day. The kids have all flaked out and I’m just about to head off too although of course it feels about 5pm so I’m not sure how much sleep I’ll get.
Think of us when you get out of bed tomorrow. We’ll be on the road, with some maniac at the wheel, and will just be hoping to make it to the villa in one piece.