Monday, September 29, 2008

"I'm sorry, madam, we only have alcohol on board"

We returned home from Sri Lanka last night, roughly 9 p.m. It's a little frustrating that an hour and ten minute flight requires 6 hours of travel, but that's the way it is.

Sunday was our lazy day. We slept in a bit, had a leisurely breakfast, took the kids to the pool, got sunburned (bad bad mom, didn't pack sunscreen... what was I thinking??), had leftover pizza for poolside lunch, packed up and left the hotel after late checkout at 3. We made it to the airport in roughly 35 minutes. Just to let you know, it's a 45 minute trip from the airport to the hotel and that's how long it took the way in. Our co-traveler went in another car with other Chennai families, and they arrived at the airport 10 minutes before us. I can't say I was at all impressed with the driving on Sunday. It was Indian-driving by choice. Colombo roads are well-paved, cars tend to stay in their lanes while people stay on the sidewalk, crosswalks are obeyed (heck, crosswalks exist), there was no need to treat our shuttle run like a race.
Check-in was quick, immigration not so quick especially without a Diplomatic line and with someone with passport issues in front of us, and the Duty Free was extensive as far as little Colombo goes. We bought iced mocha things from the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Yup, that's the rough life in Colombo.
The flight was uneventful once we took off. Before that though, we were all in an emergency exit row. In fact, within two emergency exit rows right next to each other, there were 5 kids. Rebecca stayed under the radar, but the other 4 kids were shifted about to have adults in the row instead. I can't say we're too impressed with Sri Lankan airlines check-in agents, and this flight overall was average. An older plane, 3 seats to a side, the snack food was unpalatable even for the veggies on board, and not even a magazine was present in each seat pocket. There was the Duty Free catalog and I found the perfect watch I've been looking for along with a couple other items. I filled in the little Duty Free shopping card, and had it returned with "I'm sorry, madam, we only have alcohol on board." Then perhaps the catalogs should be revised, reduced or simply removed.
Rebecca and Nicholas made a mad dash off the airplane to the nearest bathroom as the flight is so short there's about a 10-minute window when it's OK to use the restroom. We caught up to them before Immigration. Our bags didn't take forever off the carousel, we're usually practically the last bag off the plane, and the car was waiting for us outside. The cats weren't dead, though the fish was. Don't feel bad for the fish. We got our Siamese fighting fish (along with 3 others) in spring 2007. Ian said they wouldn't last the night. The other 3 passed at different times over the past 18 months, but this one just hung on, even when all he did was lay on the bottom of the bowl. It was his time.
We're home, we're sunburned, the kids are back in school, I did my morning stint at the Consulate and now I pack myself up to get the kids for their dental appointments.
Vacation is over.

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