10 Top Things I Did, Learned and Saw in Sri Lanka
1. Military men. Dark, heavily armed, and sweaty (and perhaps smelly) on the look for suspicious characters. They gave me long and hard stares probably not because I look like a member of LTTE, but because they have never seen a Filipina before?
2. Held my breath many many times in the elevator, offices, conference rooms, and public restrooms. I learned to how grasp one big breath of air and hold it 'til I reached my 29th floor room. After that, I'd curse for 10 good minutes the daot who sent me here.
3. Replied trillions of times to questions equivalent or similar to "where are you from?". Samples are the typical "Are you from Thailand?" and the stupid "Are you American?". Heller? Look at my nose? Are you blind?
4. Ate local food and smelled funky the same night. No exagg! My hair smelled like a 'kili-kili' in badly need of 'tawas' five hours after eating 2 spoons of Pork in Dark Sri Lankan Curry.
5. Watched the lovely view from my hotel room: a very clean lake at the north side and the beach on the south side. Too bad picture-taking is prohibited, unless you want to give away your camera to the dark, heavily armed, and sweaty military men.
6. Almost fainted after hearing the million-dollar question, "Why do you always take a bath?". Juice ketch, bawal ba?
7. Ate friend chicken bathing in red curry. I was staying at the Hilton and yet, the food seemed all local!
8. Gagged and came very very close to barfing. No explanation needed.
9. The impressive Katunayake Airport. It's not as breathtaking as Changi or Hong Kong International Airport, but it's way better and bigger than NAIA. If our 'leaders' will stop shopping for luxury cars out of the taxpayers money, Philippines will have a chance to having a nice airport too.
10. Learned that every full moon is a public holiday in Sri Lanka. Geez, that's 12 days a year already. Add up the other public holidays they celebrate and it will be close to 30 non-working days. Whew, they are sooo lucky. I should let my bosses know about this...they actually think Philippines has the most number of public holidays (with 12 days, we're not even close to Sri Lanka!)