I started off the day confirming some meetings following up some other contacts. I started to edit some of the holiday snaps I’d take too to add to the blog. I had a meeting at noon, but in usual Sri Lankan style I met up with the designer two and a half hours later. He was a CGI chap that had been doing work for some of the big architects in SL and had given me a few contacts. I’m going with him to the big exhibition on the 17th.

Whilst winding down the hours waiting for my meeting, there was a new arrival at the hotel of the damned. It is now just us two in the hotel and they are holding a Muslim fundamentalist meeting there tomorrow for students at 8. I thought I might attend but I’ll be out…
I then met up with Jenny, who is half Chinese, half Korean. She’d had a pretty bad start in SL as had been ripped off by a few tuk tuk drivers and she got quite worried. In the end she made it to The Tropic Inn about 3 hours after she landed. Quite stressed out. So I offered to show her round what little I knew of Colombo…
We went to the market I visited the day before and it was just the same. Lots of people recognised me and did the usual ‘my friend, I see you yesterday, do you want suitcase?’ Surprisingly, one day later I didn’t! We forged on through the mayhem of the market, which I think Jenny really hated. She kept handing me handkerchiefs to wipe my face with. At one point I thought she was going to pull out a face mask… Then we headed to Galle Face Green. A really great public area in front of an old colonial hotel with the same name. There were lots of people flying kites and eating from the stalls. The beach looked as though it had some quite good longboarding waves too! I had some disgusting shrimp basket still covered in shells and Jenny had a chick pea roll, playing it safe. Then we wandered down to another stall and I had some kind of wrap that had small fish in. Unfortunately, this was quite disgusting too and I kept tasting bone and fin. But a good source to know about. Then we headed back to the beach in Mount Lavinia for supper. Went for a safe omelet after having tried the local delicacies. It did have chilies though…
The two meetings went really well, Henry, the first architect I went to see, was really an interesting man. His philosophy and approach to architecture was very out there in the texture and form of natural materials.  He says he doesn’t have any style and hates architecture and adapts himself to his clients. This is quite interesting as most architects sell themselves on their style and continuity through their work. We had a 2 ½ hour meeting talking about photography, architecture, life and direction. He had a great approach to his practice and employed a lot of students. He even seemed to give even the 1st years a free rein with their ideas.
The second meeting was with Phillip, a cool architect, equally passionate and focused. He has also produced some substantial work in the tsunami hit areas and is lining me up with his people down there.
After my meetings I headed back to the hotel / Muslim fundamentalist training camp and took a shower. The 2nd of the day! Then went for soup and a drink at the Lion Pub. I met up with Jenny and she’d booked herself out of SL to go to Thailand. Determined to show her an interesting evening, I decided to go to the natural history museum in central Colombo. Needless to say she was very enthusiastic about this, but the tuk tuk driver took us to the wrong place. It was only once we’d paid and were inside the museum that we realised it was the national museum (break down in the communication I think…). But we looked at a load of old coins, temples and flags. Fortunately we got there so late, it closed within 45 mins and we had to leave.
I’d found this place out called the Cricket Café which served a dish called ‘Flintoff fillet of fish’, so I knew I’d be on to a winner. Once I’d explained what cricket was to Jenny, she seemed less keen about the Cricket Café than the museum. I dragged her along anyway as it was her last night in Colombo. So we entered probably the best place in Colombo full of old cricket memorabilia. It was in effect an expat cricketers watering hole. I sat us down to two Lion beers and a plate of cashew nuts. Bliss. Oh but it got way better. I spied the chalkboard: Wales V Scotland 6pm; France V Ireland 10pm…. Oh yes, this could be one of the best nights in Colombo yet!
So having explained the fundamentals of cricket to Jenny, I then had the task of explaining rugby. Well, she loved Tom Evans, so maybe I made some impact. After an epic night of sport and drinking (mostly on my behalf – Jenny had a ¼ of a pint and stuck to hot Chocolate!), Jenny left SL and headed to Thailand. I can’t help thinking she didn’t give it much of a chance here.
Woke up with a bit of a stinking hangover after the over indulgence at Scotland’s being robbed by Wales. But my day changed when I had a call from Tony at about 10.30 inviting me to lunch with him and some of his friends from the sailing club. He came and picked me up and took me to his lovely house on the lake. It was an interesting building: like a square spun on its side so the corners faced the lake and a big balcony of the sitting room. There I met his partner Pauline. We spent and indulgent day drinking, eating and playing pool at his friend’s house (also on the lake, it had open roof like an Italian villa, and garden running down to the lake). It was a very lazy Sunday involving lots of Lion beer, some scotch and a bit of dozing. This lasted in true tropical style about 8hrs. Being valentine’s night Tony and Pauline went out for a romantic meal, which was by some fluke next door to the Cricket Café! Perfect timing to see a very good Italian performance against England!! This is where I met Bernard, an Argentinean/American (supporting Italy). We polished off a few more Lions and talked about anthropology and my photography until realising it was quite late and time to head back.
I’ve now been in Colombo one week!!