Friday, April 03, 2009

Final Day in Colombo

Chris laid on another stupendous breakfast for us this morning.  Fruit salad, yoghurt, muffins, scrambled egg with smoked salmon, coffee and juices; all very tasty and set us up for the day.  The plan was just to go shopping today.  Chris was busy, so couldn’t accompany us, and Mark had meetings throughout the day but Chris jotted down a list of places we might want to visit and organised us a taxi.  Taxis are cheap it seems; we had the taxi for about five hours and it only cost us a tenner.  There’s nothing like having your own private chauffeur when you are out shopping around town!

We visited five different shops and liked them all.  In the end Brett and I picked up a selection of linen shirts, four statuettes of the major Buddhist and Hindu figures, some organic Veda honey for my parents.  One of the places we visited was a jewellers.  Sri Lanka is noted for its precious stones and Qudsi is a jeweller in the old fashioned sense; the room lined with cabinets containing both pre-fashioned jewellery and display-boxes of loose, cut gems that you can have put in the setting of your choice.

While we’d originally gone in looking for some amber jewellery for my sister, we came away with a turquoise necklace for Brett’s mum and an order for a pair of cufflinks to be made up for me using a couple of aquamarines.  Apparently aquamarine is my ‘birthstone’ and I rather like the icy blue colour.  We later went back for some fossilised coral too.  There were some truly beautiful gems in there though. If I’d had the money I could easily have come away with many more shiny things, but alas proper ostentation is beyond my means at the moment, even with the substantial discount we were given for having a friend at the High Commission.

The other place we visited twice was Paradise Road, a store owned by the chap who also owns Tintagel.  We actually ran into him at one of the stores and he and Ping spent a while talking art.  Paradise Road has quite a varied stock, but it’s mostly homeware in various forms and we found lots of lovely stuff – including the statuettes we came back to buy.  I have a fondness for sculpture…

In the evening we had dinner at the Gallery Café (attached to one of the stores).  We got there just as the afternoon rain was letting up and had a cocktail before dinner.  The menu had some dishes in common with Tintagel, but also quite a few more.  I dined on the delicious butter chicken that Mark & Chris recommended.

Unfortunately Ping was feeling increasingly unwell as we sat down to dinner; he didn’t eat anything and spent a while away from the table trying to clear his head.  In the end though he decided to leave early – and almost collapsed on his way to the door.  Chris accompanied him home in a tuk-tuk and Brett, Mark and I f0llowed as soon as we’d settled up.

Back at the house, Ping was feeling somewhat recovered – and somewhat sheepish.  He’d been having problems with his stomach adjusting to some of the Sri Lankan food and so had skipped lunch.  He doesn’t normally take a lot of alcohol, so the vodka cocktail he’d had to start had hit his empty stomach hard and he suffered for it.

It was good to see him recovering though and we got a final farewell picture of the five of us, plus Theo the labrador, before heading up for a bit of packing and an early night.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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