Colombo, Sri Lanka
6° 55' N 79° 50' E
Jul 26, 2004 14:50
Distance 246km

Text written in: English

120 - Colombo, Sri Lanka

It took pretty much all day to drive from Nilaveli to Colombo. The traffic got denser as we closed in on Colombo and the pace got slower too - not that George was greased lightning. Ajith met us at the Hilton. Can you imagine that? Staying at the Hilton hotel!!

We checked into our plush rooms with TV. The Cricket Asia cup was going on and all the TV commentators were staying at the Hilton. The breakfast restaurant was like a who's who of past cricket players from India, Pakistan and Australia. We didn't use the facilities to their full potential. Chloe and Ryan used the beautiful swimming pool but others such as the well equipped gym went unused.

My mum and Tissa arrived in the early hours of next morning. Ryan and I went with George to the arrivals hall which I had now become accustomed to.

Jade and Julie spent most of their time shopping while the other two enjoyed the swimming pool and a few DVDs. We didn't do any of the sights, just shops, internet and Pizza hut.

One evening, we went to see Ajith's house which was finished to the highest order with quality fittings and fixtures from all over the world and fine attention to detail. We were all so envious of his house which was fit for a king. We finished off the evening with his family at the restaurant of the Colombo Plaza hotel. The food, service and the company were all excellent. It was great for Ryan to spend time with Ajith's children who are nearer his age.

Tissa, Ryan and I went to see the Asia cup match between Sri Lanka and India one afternoon. It was good to be out of the tourist cocoon and observe normal people at close quarters. I expected the stadium to be sign posted a little better but we found it eventually after being led astray by a couple of people who were too embarrassed to say they didn't know but instead pointed us in any old direction. Although we had clearly numbered tickets for our seats, we were free to sit wherever we pleased once at the stand. The stands were half full in the afternoon and the beer flowed freely as a motley crew of fans played a collection of brass instruments and drums. Ryan, always the exhibitionist - was well away dancing. The music really made the atmosphere in a stadium where no effort was made to segregate the fans supporting different teams.

Early evening, the stadium filled with people coming in after a day's work. Many young people were engaged in conversation and drink with only one eye on the game. It was a typical pub atmosphere. As the drink started to take effect, the Sri Lankan fans started to taunt the Indian fans. It was nothing malicious like you see in soccer, but friendly teasing and bravado often seen in groups of young men anywhere in the world. The game itself was very close and finished with a narrow Indian win. It was good to see the interaction between the fans at close quarters.

Photos / videos of "120 - Colombo, Sri Lanka":

120 100_6717 Colombo, Sri Lanka - Asia Cup India V Sri Lanka.jpg 120 100_6723 Colombo, Sri Lanka - Plaza Meal with Ajith's family.jpg