I had arranged to meet the electrical mechanic at 9 to start his work. Much to his disappointment, he wanted to start at ten! I got there at quarter to 9 and he was already under the van hammering away with sparks flying.

He found out that it wasn’t the starter motor or the block in the fuel pump but the head gasket. As I said, I know almost nothing about cars but a head gasket is really bad and I asked how long it would take to mend. It was so hard to understand them with such a lack of English and my one word of Sinhala being hari-hari (the only reason I remember that is because of my mums dog) we didn’t get far. There was so much work to do in 3 days and I started to panic! I had jobs lined up and wasted two days.  It didn’t look like the Van was going to get fixed.

Then Tharalca, who is an absolute legend had the bright idea of going back to the church! The sisters were educated in English and they spoke it really well. So the sister translated what the mechanics were saying and how bad it really was, and it was really bad! The van was busted

So I then got her to phone up tony. I think speaking to a lady of the cloth shook him up a bit and he got his ass in gear. The Nun asking him to top up my phone 200rps to reimburse me she started to rely my situation to him. Being such nice lady she didn’t quite have the force I required so I got the phone from her and gave tony the only option there really was which was to come up with a new car for me. He tried to say that I couldn’t leave until six and he didn’t have one, it was 11 now and I was at lease 5 hours from Colombo! But after some rather less then gentle persuasion from me he said he was coming up.

 

Well he got a car from somewhere and headed up. He in then arrived at 5.30 with is brother, equally as sharp. They then had no money to pay my hotel bill or put more fuel in the car! It was a cascade of inaptness on but at least he arrived with a car. He gave me more days on my rent and paying to 1500rps of petrol and money for a beer and a curry. Then he and his brother got the rather uncountable bus ride home. I hear you say ‘why didn’t he wait for the van to be mended and dive back? ‘For some reason they drove up with a mechanic from Mount Levinia and he somehow got the van started strait away and drove back with out them. Strange decision but I think Tonys’ life might be a bit like that.  He is a complete goof but his heart is in the right place. Now I’m in one of the most picturesque places in Sri Lanka, Polonnatuwa. I stay for about 10 hours just time for asleep and a 6 o’clock start to go to military base for my shoot!

 

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