We started the day with a birthday breakfast for Beth, complete with water melon, chocolate milk and milo cereal, topped with a singing candle!
We then headed out into the heat to the British Council head office, conveniently walking was walking distance away. We were greeted with a second breakfast, spicy chinese fish rolls, tomato sandwiches and tea. The presentation was at 10.30, which got slightly delayed by a wardrobe malfunction. Seconds before the presentation Saida's side trouser zipper decided to break! Kate's initiative and Dr Nirmali's spare stash of sari safety pins saved the day!
After the dilemma we delivered the presentation of a lifetime, to all the industry professionals, senior lecturers and British Council representatives. We were all really nervous but the film and powerpoint visuals seamed to make an impression on our audience, (and the content of course).
We wanted to experience dash of local culture, so we endeavored to find a local market via an auto rickshaw, which was cramped as they are primarily for only three people and NOT four western girls. After a typical rickety ride we found our destination of the chaotic Pettah Market. Where we finally found a taylor to fix Saida's zipper for the grand total of the equivalent of 90 pence. We adopted a friend that persisted to show us the ins and outs of the market who did actually suggest a traditional restaurant for lunch, which was amazingly tasty Thali and 3ft long masala Dosa. Our friend was still waiting for outside who still persisted to help us but by this point we had enough of his pestering and ushered him away in a gentlle manner to be answered with 'You stupid proud girls'. we laughed and went on our way to sight see and conduct 'retail research'. The market was a wash of eclectic colours, smells, sights and sounds. It was fascinating to see Hindu and Buddhist temples in amongst the English colonial architecture.
After our intense experience we drifted to the swish calm of Odel department store where we indulged in our 'retail research'. From the lap of luxury we ventured out to the bustling streets and to catch a local crowded non AC bus to the esteemed Mount Lavinia hotel, in true Sri Lankan hospitality, the bus conductor took pity and drove us to the door (out of their way). The hotel was a complete contrast to our experiences of Colombo so far. On the beach side bar we drank ice cold local beer and heady long island ice tea's, and ate the most delicious sea food dishes, freshly caught that day. As we ate our dinner the waves were crashing right in front of us so close they were lapping under our table and feet, A wave in the shape of a 'Sri Lankan waiter' crept up on Beth, who shrieked in the poor mans ear!!! Who jumped out of his skin! This was too funny everyone laughed including the tables around us! the waiter insisted he wasn't another Tsunami!
We took the night bus home to a hot and humid apartment, and we retired to our beds satisfied with our exciting day, ready for the next.