Friday, February 11, 2011

Badulla Visit - Epilogue

I finally found a chance to catch up on The Doc Report, and now the rest of the story.

The trip to Badulla took six hours to the southern end of the island. We went through twisty windy roads all of it two lanes. The scenery was very beautiful, especially the mountains. Apparently there is some sort of election going on so there were huge vertical banners with the Sri Lankan president pretty much everywhere and in the corner a small picture of the person that he was endorsing! There was big smiley pictures of the president everywhere on banners everywhere, with the little picture of the person he was endorsing. Too funny.

We stopped for a classic Sri Lankan rice and curry lunch. 600RS to feed all three of us, about $5.50, that was including a Pepsi that was probably 100RS by itself!

As we got closer to Badulla we could see banners for the exhibition and eventually a police checkpoint that would only allow vehicles with passes to continue on, we were getting closer.

But then we reached a crazy intersection with signs for the exhibition pointing in nearly every direction. We turn left, pull over and ask a cop, he says we need to turn around, go to another street pull over, ask a cop, same thing. Finally a cop saw our pass and just pointed down the road, we took this as a good omen and continued.

Finally made the exhibition and had to get the vehicle inspected by security. We had five cases of apples and a few cases of Coca Cola, they asked if they could have some and we obliged.

Now the next problem was actually finding our actual display location. This was a very large fairground with roads leading in several directions. We finally found an information booth and we proceeded to go there (still making a few wrong turns).

We set up and did what we had to do, give out pencils, apples, Coca Cola and other assorted company stuff. The crowds were anything from a handful of people to five minute frenzies of handing out apples and pencils. It got pretty crazy sometimes.

After a long day we took off to the hotel. We heard one source say that the hotel was an hour away, someone else said that it was twenty minutes away, it was an hour. Up a mountain, in the middle of nowhere, tucked in the jungle.

The hotel had a nature theme and my room was built to not disturb the natural rock formations, providing plenty of places to stub your toes! The crew before us said that one of them had seen a rat in their room. I didn't see a rat, but did see many bugs the next morning. The woman that accompanied our group could not sleep at all, worried about the rats!

The next morning we checked out, went down the mountain and back to exhibition to give out more promotional material.

Our relief crew arrived and we briefed them on what to do, uhm, hand out stuff! Well we also had a plasma TV that was showing a movie that we had to keep an eye on.

The ride back home was mostly in torrential rain. The roads were flooded and it the rain slowed our trip down.

Finally made it back to Colombo around 8:00PM that night, no so bad.

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