Killing Time at the Cinnamon Grand

14 May

Transcript: Hello! I’m here in Colombo, at the Cinnamon Grand hotel. I’ve got about 45 minutes to kill; am waiting for the mall next to the hotel to open at 10. I need to go shopping for some stuff, like a cell phone (not to talk into, but to text with!), shampoo and soap and other bathroom stuff, maybe some art supplies or a shirt or whatever.

I just got here last night, around midnight. I landed at 10:45 and it took about 30-45 minutes to go through immigration and get my passport stamped and everything else and then the driver picked me up. The nice thing was that we got to chat before getting into the car, so we talked about his family, about how many times I’ve been to Sri Lanka. I said three, which is technically speaking because I left Sri Lanka last year for one week to go to Detroit for my cousin’s bar mitzvah. So it’s really my third time at the airport, but I consider this my second visit to the country.

Anyway, it was a nice chat, and then we hit the road. It took about 45 minutes to get to Colombo proper. It was dark and I couldn’t see much, but I could recognize everything; it’s all very familiar, normal, and regular. I wasn’t confused or lost or bedazzled as I’d be in a different country–I knew exactly what I was doing and what was going on. It’s a good feeling to be back.

This hotel is nice–it’s one of the best ones in Colombo. I’m treating myself to a night of comfort before heading to Matara today. Another driver will pick me up at 3:00 PM. I know this driver, Punchi; he drove my sister and I all over Sri Lanka for two weeks during the December break. It’ll be good to see him again.

I had a great breakfast this morning. It’s a huge buffet with all kinds of foods, including, of course, Sri Lankan food. And I just gobbled that down: milk rice, hoppers, dhal, everything else. I ate with a fork this time, not my fingers. I didn’t see anyone else eating with their fingers so I didn’t want to attract any attention.

I took some time to read the newspaper while eating, catching up on the news. There were elections in the recently liberated Eastern Province, the usual government wrangling, and even a news item about Hillary Clinton!

I’ll arrive in Matara between 8 and 9 tonight, and chill at the hotel. I’m not sure what to do tomorrow–show up in the morning and possibly disrupt school, or show up in the afternoon after school. I’m nervous. Some kids won’t be there, and there’ll be new kids. I’ve no idea what will happen tomorrow! We’ll see.

7 Responses to “Killing Time at the Cinnamon Grand”

  1. cerno 15. May, 2008 at 2:50 am #

    Safe travels! Hope you make a lot of happy memories :)

  2. erin 15. May, 2008 at 4:22 am #

    Love seeing you on vlog cuz i can actually understand you! stuck in limbo there for a while?

    well i hope veryone was glad to see you!

  3. lizzie 15. May, 2008 at 5:38 am #

    ((squeeeeze)) much much luck with your project, i pray for success and fabulous results to come from it!

  4. Carrie Gellibrand 15. May, 2008 at 7:36 am #

    So curious! Please tell us what happened on your first day back to the school. How did the children and staff react? Were you greeted with a stampede of children rushing to give you hugs? Did they all stop dead in their tracks and look upon you with awe and wonder and surprise? Or was it almost as if you were invisible and they didn’t really react at all, just continued on with their usual day of schooling, teaching and learning? Tell us, please! :) Warm hugs.

  5. Andrew 15. May, 2008 at 10:29 am #

    Heyy Adam,

    Glad you made it safe! Hope all goes well and I’m looking forward to hearing your stories.


  6. amanda 15. May, 2008 at 11:50 am #

    loved watching the vlog!

    will be thinking of you. hope your first day visiting was awesome.

  7. cat 16. May, 2008 at 7:00 pm #

    hey sweety,

    was good seeing you talk in the vlog. made me smile and now im wondering how it is right now. your questions of what it’d be like when you arrive there. in the morning or in the afternoon ???? are answered by now. cannot wait for your stories.