Colombo National Museum




Ben Oostdam

May 7, Sunday

(please click to enlarge)
A rather sleepless night because of cockroach concurrence. I read and wrote from 02:00 to 04:00 and then went back to bed again till 07:00. Then I shaved, packed and had a bacon and egg breakfast with bad coffee and good pineapple for R 12. Next I visited the harbor and the monument for its 1950 expansion. On the way back I dropped by Thai Airways and found out I was number 100 on their list and that they might be able to give me a ride around 09:00. Somehow I managed to reach their AC lobby at 09:10 with my luggage and some hippie couple carrying a vacuum cleaner. Together with the Dutch consul the four of us were taken to the Airport, even though we were forewarned there might be a 6 hour delay. At the postoffice on the airport I took the opportunity to weigh all my tar samples on their letter scale, unfortunately in ozs, so that I had to do separate conversions to grams. [NOTE at time of writing: I think that by now Sri Lanka, the Uk and almost all of the rest of the World has gone metric, except for Myanmar and the USA]
I passed through customs easily, but had to go back to change my remaining R 480 for US$ 33, which I used to buy some cheap gemstones and saris. During our free lunch, I studied my fellow passengers, including a group of French tourists, some more hippies and mainly Chinese. By 14:00, I wrote up my diary and financial status: 370 pounds sterling, US $ 217. I splurged $ 10 on mini liquor bottles and a spy book, which I almost finished by the time we finally took off, after some more free tea and cake, at about 21:00...We did get a good dinner served, and I did not get much sleep, anxious to see how Thailand had developed since I left it after having worked in the Dutch Bank there from 1954-7.
It was warm, Don Muang Airport had been thoroughly modernized, and customs were slow but easy. I helped a 75 year old professor and his American wife into the $ 2 minibus which took us to town - they told me they had bought a large and luxurious house in Colombo for less than $ 100K. I was dropped off at the Prince Hotel, astonished about Bangkok's new roads, buildings and modernization including pollution. I was given a nice AC room for $ 11 per night and tumbled in bed at 28:30 (aka 04:30 on Monday May 8, 1978), ready to start a new day and country.
Let me say in conclusion that I loved Sri Lanka!! but was also ready for the next , maybe even more Buddhist country experience.
Galle Trilingual Stone
Zheng He, 1411 found 1911
Zeng He
Maritime Lanka
December 26, 2004 Tsunami Damage
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
Sri Lanka Civil War 1983-2009, over 80,000 killed
Sri Lanka president declared poll victor

BLO fecit 2010202_04 - contents 1978 Journey
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