Wednesday, September 3, 2008
an unexpected visitor from the US
the gentleman in the photo said she would go back home and tell her friends she met this veddah!!
A friend of mine in California had recommended to a friend of his who was backpacking in Sri Lanka to contact me. Melinda 24 from Santa Monica contacted me on Monday evening when I was doing my deliveries in Colombo, and I picked her up and took her to my place in Minneriya.
I guess she was brave to go with a stranger she only knew by recommendation, and we arrived at my place at 3am. I showed her the Polonnaruwa historic city the following day, but was aghast that the tourist rate now had risen to Rs2,700. In fact I was embarrassed as it was a rainy day and we had to duck the rain to see the ruins and we could only go to a limited selection. To add insult to injury officious guards at sites, requested us to put the umbrellas away when entering historic monuments, so we could only go in the pouring rain. Lord Buddha would immediately put them in their place had he been around to see this nonsensical request.
What Melinda enjoyed most was going to the homes of my various neighbors who had never entertained a foreigner in their lives and she was quite taken aback with our hospitality as she was treated at short notice as an honored guest and in one place she was even given a gift of a picture to hang on a wall. Two days later she was put on a bus to get back to Colombo and a local bus to Nugegoda from Pettah, which she gamely did much to the amazement of the locals who would not venture into the unknown.