Fiona and Ash's Gap Year Extravaganza travel blog

Harry, Julie + Ash after the running round the field jaunt

You aint no G. Any whats in that bottle looks mighty suspicious

On Friday school allowed us to take the day off - we only actually needed to leave about an hour early but they said to take the day. This was beacuse we went to see the cricket! Worthy of a day off school. I've never watched cricket before and there is loads of rules and words to remember. I simplified it down to my level by asking loads of questions. I understand cricket as team 1: hit it and run, team 2: try and catch it. Even at this very basic level I enjoyed it. It was Sri Lanka v Pakistan 1 day match and cost R750 or 4.50GBP (oh my god there is no pound sign on this keyboard) Evert knew even less about cricket than me. Its not a sport of the Netherlands apparently. He was utterly unimpressed. Things perked up a bit when it started to rain. This meant we never saw Sri Lanka bat which kind of sucked but after four hours I was less bothered than you may imagine.

What followed next was the biggest storm I've ever seen in my life. The pitch completely flooded and we all got soaked despite being under a roof. Ash got a really good photo of the lightning. Some of our group - we went with about 25 others- including Ash thought it would be a really good idea to break onto the pitch - guards in SL don't stay if it means they'll get wet. They ran through calf height puddles, if you can call them that; got half way around the stadium with thousands of people cheering and/or throwing bottles before being stopped by guards. This is an INTERNATIONAL CRICKET STADIUM!

After two hours of waiting for the rain to stop we piled into Charley's car and headed to Inn on the Green. An English style pub in the middle of Colombo. No draught Guinness (it was St Paddy's Night) but a good deal on cans. A group of people who weren't prepared to pay English prices walked to Dosi King a Sri Lankan place. A dosi we discovered is like an enormous pancake with curry in the middle. Ash ordered potato masala and our waiter said "that is curry" which I found utterly hilarious.

I'll skip now to our bed for the night. We had booked dorm beds at the Sri Lankan Ex-Servicemans Institute. This is next door to the YMCA but better because you can make noise and theres a bar. It looks like a mental hospital from the 50's with rusty irom frame beds and brown walls but the bathrooms were the cleanest I've seen. We were told that it was always empty and we'd have the room to ourselves so told 3 other volunteers to come and stay with us. When we got back there was one other guy in the dorm.


G or Guido as we later discovered was his real name was a 51 yr old Belgian who had married a Sri Lankan woman and was here to go to a film festival and watch a film from his home country. He was also clinically insane and fitted very well with the decor or the place. This may have had something to do with the litre of toddy he drank while we chatted. who knows? Toddy is a Sri Lankan drink homemade and of dubious quality made from coconut milk. Quoth Allan upon being offered some " Nah thanks isn't that the stuff that makes you blind?" There was no mozzie nets and he sung a song to keep the mozzies away. He was intent on asking Gillian a volunteer from Aberdeen the most intrusive questions you can imagine. Gillian had been drinking since that start of the cricket and just encouraged him. I was laughing so hard at the pair of them that I was crying and I couldn't breathe. Gillian: "I can"t believe I'm stuck her in this rotten hole being bitten alive and I'm so drunk I just want to go to sleep. This stupid Norweigan guy thats probably God wont shut up...." Insert an unusually high number of expletives. The probably God comment was reference to G's on top baldness with long curly hair down the back while being dressed all in white with bare feet.

After all the excitement of the previous night, Saturday was a relaxed day. We went to the world trade centre and had an air conditioned breakfast with tea for really cheap. Went shopping and bought a book about Buddhism a SL flag car sticker and post cards. The shopping centre was really Western with a food court. I had seafood pizza as I didn't fancy spice. This backfired as seafood translates as "no seafood but lots of hidden green chillies". Monsterous.

Saturday night we went to Kalutara and stayed in a TPA apartment. Went to a place called the Green Bamboo. There was 2 menus for the entire restaurant. Our waiter lived 6 months in SL 6 months in England playing cricket for Exeter and has seen far more of England than any of us had. Eden project anyone? He was called Jay (bet he wasn't really) and let us buy soft drinks and add our own spirits to them. What a dude!

We were somehow invited to a beach party and when we got there there was about 10 people there apart from us. Gillian got behind the cocktail bar and made everyone undrinkable cocktails for free. On the way back we got 8 people in a tuk tuk. I reckon we could do 9.

Sunday we went to a five star hotel to use the pool and it had a bar in the pool!!! I was very impressed. Couldn't actally afford a cocktail though. Stole the towel as mine's the size of a teatowel. Hope they don't read this :X

Tuk tuk home and the driver gave us a phone number of his friend who used to live in England called Raymond. Raymond is 60.

Thats all folks. Tuesday we're doing Adams peak, a pilgrimage (tourist trail?) up a mountain to watch the sunrise. I might be too knackered to write for a while.

Love you xxx

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