Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Negotiation

Every trishaw ride begins with one, negotiate the price with the driver. Now you can be brave and just jump in any old trishaw that comes along, give the driver a destination and deal with the fair when you arrive, but chances are if you're a Westerner that is going to be a hefty fair.

As it stands now we probably pay, make that we do pay too much, probably double what a Sri Lankan pays.

More often than not when you ask how much the driver usually says something to the effect of "No problem, you pay whatever" or "Get in, no problem" everything is no problem.

It's just automatically assumed you're rich if your a Westerner. To make things that much more difficult for us is that if we catch a trishaw outside of our apartment then they know you live in one of the most expensive apartments in Colombo, doesn't help. Works the other way around as well when we try to catch a ride to our apartment.

Funny double whammy as we ate at a restaurant at the Hilton Residences (Hilton Hotel apartments) and grabbed a trishaw back to our apartment. Yeah, try being cheap leaving one of the most expensive apartments in Colombo and going to one of the other expensive apartments in Colombo. Actually wasn't so bad, I started the negotiation off with 150 Rupees, he asked for 250 and we settled for 200 ($1.75), probably 100 if I was Sri Lanka!

Taking Chance - HBO Movie 2009

I watched the movie Taking Chance, again, the other night. It has to be one of the better movies I have ever watched, well in the military genre.

Kevin Bacon just nails it as his role as a Marine officer. No question about it. There are man movies involving Marines and if you were to watch one with a Marine or former Marine they are bound to point out all of the inaccuracies, not so with this movie.

One of the best scenes is where Kevin Bacon is going through security and is asked to take off his jacket and he refuses "I will NOT take off this jacket and desecrate this uniform!". Your probably wondering what the big deal is? Wearing the Class "A" jacket with medals and ribbon with long sleeve khaki shirt makes up the Alpha uniform. There is no such Marine uniform that consists of a long sleeve khaki shirt without medals and ribbons. Now add the medals and ribbons to the long sleeve khaki shirt and you do have a uniform, the Class "B" or Bravo uniform, but when worn with the Alpha jacket you do not place the ribbons or medals on the shirt. So yes, he would be out of uniform if he took off his jacket. Uniforms are a big deal to Marines, believe me on that.

Another small scene in the movie that was probably just a blip to most folks but stood out in my mind is where Kevin Bacon leaves the Veterans of Foreign Wars lodge with the Sergeant and the Sergeant turns around, snaps to attention and says "Colonel" and Kevin Bacon snaps to attention and says "Sergeant". Even though they were in a very casual setting, the Sergeant still knew his role as the enlisted person to render honors to the officer. He is not in uniform, so he comes to attention, he is not going to be so casual as to say "Have a good night Colonel", they are not friends nor would he even think about bringing it to that level with a superior officer. Kevin Bacon as the Colonel comes to attention and acknowledges the Sergeant. Small but poignant moment in the movie for a military person.

The other thing I enjoyed about the movie is that it doesn't play the political card although it certainly could have been the venue for such.

Chris even displayed he approval for the movie by staying awake nearly halfway through it!