I met Ruchi, who gave me some great contacts, so I spent the morning following them up. I’m not that good at names at the best of times, but when they are Kkeariiakkke and such like, I really find it quite hard to get a grasp on them. So I took the only approach I know, the French approach: go with the strong accent and the first few letters… This kind of worked and I’ve arranged some meetings with some really great architects on Saturday. Some have been working with the Japanese government and with Kenzo (the very edgy architect from Japan).
So after a good morning of work, I decided to do some touristy stuff. I went to The Pettah markets. They were packed and had a load of random tat and junk for sale. The kind of stuff that no one would buy. Saying that, I got a Sri Lankan Calypso CD for Rp500!
I’ve never been so hot. I’m having about 3-4 showers a day and still I’m not coping. Not sure how I’ll be when I’m working!
Coming home via the usual method, I think I might be turning in to a trainspotter – I seem to spend most of my time photographing people on the train, around the train, working on the train, or just standing somewhere near the train. I guess it’s such a fundamental part of the island’s network.
When I got back I went for some scallops on the beach with a pint of Lion. Amazing! I wasn’t quite done so thought I drop by the faithful old Lion pub! There I entered in to a world of pain on meeting the Sri Lankan equivalent of Rob Lowe!! He looked so smooth, with his swept back, greased hair, slightly over sized shirt, and pleated high-wasted trousers.
He was half SL and Indian and had the head rocking thing and the kiss/tut thing going on at the end of every sentence. He was quite on another level speaking about science, destiny and perceived output. He claimed to be a ‘blue blood’ and came from a millionaire family. I did ask what he was doing in this dive then, and he said the usual rebellion shit. He was fun, though, and had an interesting quality to him. He was spread-eagled over the benches in the garden looking like he owned the place (he did kind of claimed that at one point too!) shouting at the waiter for more drinks and making a scene.
When Boyz II Men came on the TV, he shouted across the garden to the waiter to tern the volume up and started singing it to me. I realised then, that, in fact, he was quite a flirt: he asked me what cologne I was wearing – I told him it was actually mosquito spray. He might have died if he’d smelt the molecule one!! So he was chest puffed out and like some kind of Raj. When we started to talk about politics and the economic crisis (which I know nothing about) he was telling me it was all a spin form the USA to make China crumble. So I told him, with some drunken confidence, that it was to do with lending and the housing market and his manner changed. His shoulders dropped and he suddenly told me that I knew nothing – that I was ‘so wise, clever and creative..’This was when I realised he must have been properly drunk or high! ‘You are an economist and I know nothing!’ he said. Very strange man. But he was really nice so we’re going out on Saturday to the hotel for drinks. He says he knows everyone and can get in everywhere! He’ll probably fleece me for everything I own…

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