Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Food Report

I finally broke down and went to the food court across the street. Maybe around ten vendors to include a Pizza Hut Express. Thought I would start with the first place, Indian food. I got tandoori chicken, naan, mint chutney and a Coke. Total price? $2.90! I don't know how many of you enjoy Indian food but let me tell you this was so good! The mint chutney had a kick to it that surprised me, I loved it. Chicken was delicious and big healthy pieces of naan (Indian bread). So just when I thought that couldn't be beat, I had to partake in Doc's Achilles heal, that would be, ice cream.
I got a nice chocolate sundae for around $1.25, by the size of it, definitely a $4 sundae back home.

I went back to the Indian food stand and told the counter guys that the food was delicious. I plan on going back there many more times!

I'm worried that I'm going to gain all sorts of weight because of the food. Of course I can always exercise.

The Wave

I learned from probably the very first time I went for a walk in Colombo, the wave. You see it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that I or any other Westerner stand out when on the sidewalks here. We are magnets for the tuk tuk drivers.

If I am walking with the traffic I can hear the little two stroke engines slowing down alongside me "Sir? Sir? tuk tuk?" to which I just smile and wave.

There are barriers along the main drag here to prevent pedestrians from crossing but at certain points, that and there are only a limited number of places for vehicles to turn. So I find it funny that if I am walking against the traffic tuk tuk drivers on the other side still honk their horns at me and try to get my attention. Funny because if I wave them over they will have to travel a bit to
turn around pick me up, travel further to turn around to take me probably two blocks!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Book Corner - Finished Reading

Gee how long has it been since I've posted something under book corner? I think I forgot to post some books I read earlier this summer.

Here is a paperback I picked up at the airport for the flight to Sri Lanka.

The Last Patriot by Brad Thor
472 pages

Typical Doc read, a spy thriller. It was really good for the most part, until the last few chapters where I thought the author was just going a little bit overboard with one of the characters.
I would not recommend it.

Birthday Shout Out!


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Internet Connection - Good and Bad

It was really cool that I had a Internet ADSL connection when I arrived complete with wireless router. It's around $30 per month, affordable. It's supplied by the apartment, but thats where there is a problem. I was hoping to get a faster connection but apparently you can't change the plan. It's also a little buggy, it has dropped on me a few times, picked back up, more irritating than anything else. It definitely has its slow periods to : (

Birthday Shout Out!


Turn your lights on

There are random check points set up everywhere you go here in Colombo. What are they looking for? People who are not from Colombo so they can grill them. I know what your asking yoursef, 'isn't the war over?'. Yes, but I'm sure they have to keep safe.

I took a tuk tuk back from shopping and we went through a checkpoint and didn't get stopped. But I realized that they wouldn't stop a tuk tuk driver as he has obviously already established himself in the city.

I have been in a vehicle twice that has gone through check points at night and whenever we approach the driver would turn on the interior lights and we would drive on through. I thought this was a mandatory procedure, nope. It tells the guards one thing, "Hey we're not Sri Lankan!"
Hopefully that didn't go over your heads.

Factoid - Currency

The currency here is the Sri Lankan Rupee. Around 117 per USD. To make it easy we usually just figure 100 Rupees per 1USD.
Here is a cool converter: http://coinmill.com/LKR_calculator.html

Not the best notes around, I don't see any anti-counterfeiting measures built into the paper bills.

In Uruguay a 1000 Peso bill (Around $47 USD) often caused more trouble than anything, especially with taxi drivers. They would take you to a store sometimes so you can break it into something smaller. Here, a 1000 Rupee bill (Around $9 USD), thats dinner money.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Part of Hindu Temple "Sri Shiva Subramania Swami Kovil" - Colombo, Sri Lanka

Part of Hindu Temple "Sri Shiva Subramania Swami Kovil" - Colombo, Sri Lanka
Originally uploaded by gutek

Here is a photo of the Hindu temple that I saw today.

Tour of the city

So I went on a half day driving tour of the city. First impressions? The traffic is by far the worst I have ever seen in my life! We took a small tour bus and I swear the driver had nerves of steel!
Saw some interesting things, would have been nice if I brought my camera (DOH!) but some of the folks who did take pictures will share them with me. There was this Hindu temple that was almost cartoonish in how it looked, hate to say this, it was a little creepy too! We visited a Buddhist temple complete with big golden Buddah's and big old elephant (A real one). There was a couple getting married in traditional Sri Lankan outfits with drummers and dancers. Let me tell you, wow. The bride was barefoot in a ankle length gold colored dress and roses in her hair, she looked beautiful, the groom wore traditional royal garbs, it was pretty cool. We visited a place to buy what I call, more stuff for your house. Some cool things but did I need any of it?

The day finished off with lunch at a nice restaurant. I had some Thai green curry, it was spicy but not overly so.

We work half days on Fridays so when we returned I had the rest of the day off : )

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Serendipity is the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something entirely unrelated.

"The word derives from Swarnadip, the Sanskrit language name for Sri Lanka,"


And here I am, yet another chapter in the Doc Report begins. Follow me if you will from Sarajevo, Baghdad, Jeddah, Montevideo and now the tropical island of Sri Lanka.

I arrived this morning around 0230 local time via Sri Lankan Air. And lest I forget a friendly Ayubowan to all!

My journey started on from good ol' Norfolk, VA (ORF) to the ever so popular New Yorks JFK and onward to London, Heathrow via Delta Airlines. Had a bit of a problem in Norfolk as the ticket agent was convinced I had a 3 month visa for Sri Lanka, I told her it wasn't a problem but she had to check with her supervisor. I managed to stay awake and fairly comfortable the flight "over the pond" watched two movies. The last leg to Colombo was a solid 10 hours and 45 minutes. Thankfully I had a window row to myself so I could stretch a little. The flight attendants were super friendly and wore really neat traditional style clothing as uniforms.

Someone from the work was there to greet me and being so late at night there was no traffic and didn't see the city.

First impressions of my new apartment? Let me put it this way, WOW!.
At least 1 1/2 times the size of my apartment in Montevideo. Any of the guest bedrooms here is the size of my master bedroom in Montevideo and each guest bedroom has a full bath, which are larger than the master bath I had in Montevideo.
My master bathroom is huge as is my living room. The best was waiting for me as I opened my patio door, do you hear it?
The Indian Ocean, probably 100 yards away. Okay I can't swim there but the waves crashing do provide a wonderful backdrop.

There are a few quirks as can be expected, oh maybe like railroad tracks also in front of the apartment and before the beach. As I tried to sleep last night I heard "HONNNNNK HONNNNNNK!!!", my brain asked, "Was that a train?", yes all hours of the night and day, speaking of one....

I woke up this morning and ventured out into my new world. Uhm, I'm not in Montevideo anymore! All I have to do is go to the sidewalk, turn right and walk about 5 minutes, there I am at work!

It's hot and humid, no make that, it's VERY hot and humid! I am sitting at my porch right now, the sun is down and it's 82F.

As soon as I get some batteries for my camera I'll take a few pictures of my new surroundings.

Until then.