Firstly I say sorry to my followers – I have started a new job which has kind of taken over my life so I haven’t been blogging much. Do not worry I’m not giving up blogging or sharing recipes, just bear with me whilst I get settled into the new routine.
I thought it would be interesting to share with you my experiences of Colombo. I have been visiting this city for 7 years and BOY has it changed AND BOY is it changing still.
I lived in Dehiwela for a little while on and off in 2006/2007, in a company apartment and loved it. It had sea views but was small and cosy and local enough to be home for me…nothing posh or special but the flat remains in my heart because it was from there that I got to know the real Colombo rather than just passing through and stopping at tourist spots like Odel’s and Majestic City.
Anyway, after my stays there I always thought I had the authority of Colombo knowledge when people asked me about it once I was back home in the South. How wrong I was and still am.
I don’t think I have ever seen a city change so fast so quickly. Every time I go something changes, new buildings arise out of nothing, restaurants and bakeries that I used to frequent have disappeared, yet more streets are one-way and don’t even get me started on the traffic lights. I think even the real Colombo residents don’t know half the time.
So today I met a good tuk tuk driver “friend” of mine and asked him to take me and my friend to the Old Dutch Hospital (from Punchi Borella) so we could have some lunch and a drink before getting the bus back home. He didn’t have a clue where it was (!!), so he stopped at Colombo Fort Railway Station to ask for directions – I more or less knew where the place was but he wasn’t listening. We ended up being overcharged by him but he claimed it was because he had to stop and ask directions. Ripped off by somebody who I trusted. Damn this didn’t bode too good….lesson learnt. A tuk tuk friend in Colombo is not the same as a tuk tuk friend in my home town, Aluthgama.
The Old Dutch Hospital – nothing to fault it really. Beautiful building, wonderful restaurants, cafe’s and bars. IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT. Since when did Colombo become London?? We had a drink but skipped lunch. Sure we could afford it but we were in the mood to go home by now. I guess I would have to go back on a Friday evening to get a buzz. Tuesday lunchtimes = dull.
Finally – last Colombo lesson learnt – if you’re only going a short distance (i.e. Old Dutch Hospital to Bus Station)…get a bloody metered tuk tuk. The one outside quoted us 200 rups. We ignored him and got into a lovely old uncle’s metered tuk tuk and he took us where we wanted to go for 100 rups and spoke brilliant English whilst telling us a quick story of his Burgher youth – bargain.
Some good, some not so good, such is life. But don’t stop changing Colombo – it makes you more intriguing and fun to visit. Photo’s to follow soon.