..and now its tradition to have my vacations flagged off by a Partha Jha wordplay. :) He didn’t disappoint this time either, and rewarded my cryptic goodbye with this.

The road trip to our offsite airport wasn’t really adventurous, despite our driver’s best slow moving efforts. He wished us a happy journey though, that was a nice touch. In spite of the mildly irritating form factor, migration proved to be a simple business.

The SriLankan Airlines thankfully provided more avenues for cheap fun. If Air Deccan had a poor cousin, this one would be it. They did serve a ‘standard’ meal, and we use the word ‘standard’ loosely here, and I scared D by hinting that the mounds of potato would give us a loosie in the sky, or worse, during the vacation.

But I’m being mean, sorry, they weren’t really bad, though the craft did need some upholstery maintenance. I felt bad for the staff, and could understand their sad expression, which was mostly thanks to a raucous beer crowd, whose in-flight entertainment consisted of shooting pictures of themselves with free Carlsberg, with many retakes, all freshly canned. It also gave us a free nostalgia trip – buses to and from Kerala. There was this other guy in front of us with a hoodie – he kept looking up, I think he was apprehensive of leaks, couldn’t really blame him.

We arrived safely, mostly because D doesn’t let me speak during flights. Wait a second, I now realise she mostly doesn’t let me speak. Hmm. Currency change was a breeze, because we had been warned by our tour organiser that the newly symbolic Rupee would be difficult to convert, and so we’d carried $.

Meanwhile, our guide was waiting for us, and I identified parts of my name from several others. He took us to the parking lot, which had a retro feel to it. For instance, ours was a full fledged Toyota which could seat about a dozen people, and reminded me of the ‘kidnap’ cars Amjad Khan used in 80s Bollywood.

On the way to Negombo, where we were to stay the night, it was  like a surreal India – Hutch saying ‘Hi’ alongside a Samsung Corby, and an Airtel fighting for attention. That reminded me of the Uniconnect card I got, thanks to booking through Cleartrip. Sorry Cleartrip, we both did what was expected of us, no controversy here. 😉

The Camelot Beach Hotel at Negombo was neat enough, and though we sensed a fish smell near the reception, the long corridor was free of it. The room was quite good, and once we had cracked the plug point secrets, all was well. Meanwhile, instead of a television, we had a radio with good old fashioned knobs, and we rocked ourselves to sleep listening to the roar of the sea and “I’m gonna live forever“.

More pics here, and coming soon Part 2 :)